More pork barrel spending:
An important test of the United States' fledgling missile defense system ended in failure early Wednesday as an interceptor rocket failed to launch on cue from the Marshall Islands, the Pentagon said. After a rocket carrying a mock warhead as a target was launched from Kodiak, Alaska, the interceptor, which was intended to go aloft 16 minutes later and home in on the target 100 miles over the earth, automatically shut down because of "an unknown anomaly," according to the Missile Defense Agency of the Defense Department. The launching had been planned as the first full test in two years of this element of the Bush administration's effort to deploy a multilayered missile defense shield. The setback threatened to delay further the initial step of activating a basic missile defense, which had once been planned for September but slipped into next year after a series of canceled tests and developmental difficulties.


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