US conducts 1st successful test of defenses against ICBM
The US on Wednesday morning successfully conducted the first test of its defenses against a simulated ICBM. A target fired from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific was destroyed while still in space by an interceptor fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The test was intended to demonstrate how the ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system can identify an enemy ICBM and shoot it down before it re-enters the atmosphere. The system consists of sensors around the world including at sea and in space.
Development of GMD began in the 1980s during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Detractors nicknamed it "Star Wars", claiming the system would never work.