Local News

Feb 1, 2010 11:38 PM by Courtney Meznarich

Vandenberg tests missile, while protesters test police

Vandenberg Air Force base launched a missile this afternoon to test its ground-based interceptor system, while protesters outside the base were testing police officers.

The long range missile is meant to be intercepted by another missile over the Pacific Ocean, but the interception failed and officials are now investigating to determine why.

Meanwhile, officers arrested eight anti-nuclear activists protesting the launch, for refusing to give their names, a law on federal property.

Seven of those arrested were released soon after, but one person was still in custody at last check because he refused to give up his name.

Protesters say these tests are unnecessary, despite previous terrorist threats.

Dennis Apel, a protester at the base, said "the missile defense system that they're testing today is the single greatest obstacle to nuclear abolition."

Launch personnel say the tests are vital to national security.

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