Fun_People Archive
5 Apr
Titan II Missle Museum

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon,  5 Apr 99 11:29:55 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Titan II Missle Museum

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>

There were 54 Titan missle bases.  53 of them were dynamited.  One, in Green
Valley, AZ, about an hour south of Tucson, was decommissioned but preserved.
It's now open as a `museum' (no idea who the muse of nuclear ballistic
missles might be) and we visited there last week.  I highly recommend a

There is an hour-long tour, taking you around the surface structures and
then, for the bulk of the time, inside the base.  The missle is still there,
although I assume the warhead has been removed.  Most of the equipment is
still there and has power, although of course it is no longer possible to
launch the missle.  The launch doors are half-open and sealed with concrete,
so satellites can see that the base is inoperable.

It is an extremely disturbing place, although there is some comfort in
viewing it as a piece of historical rather than current hysteria.  Nerds
can delight in the technical details, many of which were set in 1961 when
the base was designed (all 54 were on line by 1964).  For example,
trajectory information was sent to the guidance system in the missle by
reading a paper tape in the control room.  The missle responded with a
signal that punched a second tape; these two tapes were compared to verify
accurate transfer of trajectory information.

The museum is staffed by volunteers, mostly retired.  Our tour guide was
having denture trouble, which added to the unreality of the experience.
Ask for Al Ross by name when you visit the Titan II Missile Museum off I-19
in Green Valley.

prev [=] prev © 1999 Peter Langston []