Originally designated the SM-80, WS-133, later designated the LGM-30. Development began in 1955, calling for a small, three stage solid fueled missile. Originally planned to use inertial guidance and carry a single warhead. 53 foot 6 inch long, weighing 60,000 pounds, with first stage thrust of 210,000 pounds, range of 6,300 nautical miles.
Deployed - Four configurations, Minuteman I, Minuteman II, Minuteman Modernized, Minuteman III, with several modifications of each. A mobile version mounted on the Minuteman train was planned and tested but cancelled in 1961.
Today - Minuteman III is operational today at three locations, with 450 launch facilities. 400 are kept on alert and 50 periodically rotated through major depot level maintenance.
15 September 1959 - First tethered flight of a modified missile with partially fueled first stage and dummy upper stages
1 February 1961 - First launch of a Minuteman I A from Cape Canaveral
17 Novermber 1961 - First silo launch of a Minuteman I from Cape Canaveral
11 April 1963 - First Minuteman I A launch from Vandenberg AFB
24 May 1963 - First Minuteman I B launch from Vandenberg AFB
29 February 1964 - First ripple launch of two Mintueman I A from Vandenberg AFB
24 September 1964 - First launch of a Minuteman II from Cape Canaveral
1 March 1965 - Only successful launch of a modified Minuteman from an opertional base, when “Project Long LIfe” Minuteman I flew for seven seconds in the 68 SMS at Ellsworth. Later attempts at Grand Forks were unsuccessful due to shutdowns due to safety equipment
18 August 1965 - First launch of a Minuteman II from Vandenberg AFB
24 February 1966 - First salvo launch of two Minuteman I A from Vandenberg AFB
17 April 1967 - First Minuteman launch using the Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS)
16 August 1968 - First launch of a Minuteman III from Cape Canaveral
1970 - First Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg AFB
24 October 1974 - Launch of a Minuteman from an airborne C-5A