Companies vying to build America’s next nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile have assessed more than 10,000 missile configurations using supercomputers, including two- and three-stage solid-fuel designs. They have also assessed different launching methods, such as Peacekeeper-like gas ejection or “cold launch,” where the missile ignites in the air after popping out of the silo like a cork from a wine bottle. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have ...

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