Video: A C-5 Galaxy Air Launches An ICBM. What!?

The ICBM, or Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, is a nuclear weapon designed to destroy entire cities. Fortunately, they have never before been used in war. They have, however, been tested.

This particular ICBM, a Minuteman, was dropped by a C-5A Galaxy aircraft over the Pacific on October 24, 1974. The Minuteman weighed 86,000 pounds and fell from a height of 20,000 feet. The missile’s rocket engine fired at 8,000 feet. It rose up to 20,000 feet again and then dropped into the ocean.

The test was important in demonstrating that an ICBM could be launched from the air. However, it was decided that launching it that way involved too many security and engineering difficulties.