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Navy Launches A Second Test Missile, Says They're Done For Now

The first missile launch, as seen from San Diego (Photo courtesy of Jack Fusco)
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After Saturday night's light show courtesy of a U.S. Navy missile, the government says it launched a second missile off Southern California today.

On Monday afternoon, the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Kentucky launched another unarmed Trident II (D5) missile off the coast. The exercise was a part of what is called a "demonstration and shakedown operation," which each nuclear submarine does to ensure readiness after it has been refueled. The Kentucky was recently overhauled earlier this year, and the Navy said it is done for now. "We don't announce future launches, but this is it for any time soon," John M. Daniels, spokesman for the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, told the L.A. Times.

The Tridents are ballistic missiles that are can each be armed with 14 nuclear warheads and cost up to $31 million each. They are tested each year on the West Coast and near Florida—but the public is given no advance notice so the Chinese and Russians don't find out.

Monday's launch occurred to less fanfare and buzz than Saturday night's, which spawned some fairly spectacular photos and videos due to its timing. The Navy says they are considering releasing their own videos and photos of the launches in the near future.