Thursday, May 14, 2015

2015 Tucson: Titan Missile Museum (5/14/2015)

Thursday, May 14, 2015 (continued)
After Mission San Xavier del Bac, we continued down I-19 to the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, AZ. We were able to catch the first tour of the day at 9:00.
Titan Missile Museum facility
From 1963 until 1982, the US maintained 54 missile silos with nuclear Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles/ICBMs ready to launch in 58 seconds for distances to 6,300 miles. Eighteen of those silos were in southeastern Arizona, and while all the other missile sites were totally dismantled by 1987, this one was preserved as a museum.
Discone antenna
Should this relatively flimsy antenna be destroyed in a nuclear attack, so called "hardened" antennas would be raised from underground.
The white missile cover to the left is permanently locked open
per the agreement with the Russians,
so that they can monitor our activity at all times!
The tour takes you 35 feet underground, and through 3-ton blast doors and a 6-ton blast door.
This youngster was able to move the 6-ton door
He and others who volunteered to participate in demonstrations received cards indicating their deeds.
The control room
(Re)fueling suit with multiple patches
Back outside, pairs of doppler radar sensors,
called tipsies, for personnel intrusion detection
This 103-foot missile is actually a harmless training missile
The missile site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994.
The emphasis given by the tour guide was that this system of ICBMs acted as a deterrent to war.

Next: Madera Canyon.

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