Rush hour commuters in central Israel witnessed a surprising spectacle Tuesday morning, as a rocket was seen shooting into the sky from Israeli territory with white smoke trailing behind it.
The rocket was part of a missile launch test conducted by the Defense Ministry. According to the ministry’s spokesperson, the launch was conducted from a military base in central Israel and tested a new rocket propulsion system.
Part of a pre-scheduled test, the Defense Ministry stated the testing went off “as planned.”
According to the ministry, the engine undergoing testing is meant to be used to propel ballistic missiles into space that can carry satellites.
Israeli media reports indicate that the testing, according to analysts, is most likely related to Israel’s Jericho ballistic missile system.
The advanced version of the system, the Jericho III, can carry a warhead of up to one ton and has a range of between 5,000 and 11,000 kilometers. (3,100 to 6,800 miles).