A team of my coworkers have been up in Kodiak, Alaska for the last few weeks setting up for yesterday’s launch of our target vehicle. (they only send me up there in the dead of winter…)
The funky looking “skin” is a heater blanket to help keep the missile & payload warm while it is sitting on the pad. The blanket peels away during liftoff.
This is a link to some launch video and the actual intercept using IR video. It’s pretty impressive when you consider that each vehicle is traveling at +15,000 MPH.