A map shows the path a Hera missile is expected to take during tests Wednesday, March 25, 2009. A Patriot 3 missile launched from White Sands Missile Range, seen in red, is expected to intercept the Hera missile.
Updated: Wednesday, 25 Mar 2009, 12:59 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 25 Mar 2009, 10:46 AM MDT
GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE/AP) - Scientists are trying to figure out what happened when a Patriot 3 missile launched from White Sands Missile Range at a Hera missile fired from near Gallup failed to hit the Hera.
Officials launched the Hera from Fort Wingate at 7:25 a.m. towards the southern New Mexico missile range.
The Hera's booster safely dropped into an evacuated safety zone near Datil, according to an information officer for the launch, Drew Hamilton, who watched the launch from Red Rock State Park near Gallup.
The Patriot 3 was launched to intercept the Hera at high altitude, but missed its target.
There had been a dozen previous intercept test launches, the
most recent in November 2004.
The test was done under the auspices of the U.S. Army Program Office for Missiles and Space in Huntsville, Ala.
Roads were blocked in the Fort Wingate and Datil areas for the test.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.