[Fwd: Fwd: Titan II Missle Museum]

Rodent of Unusual Size (Ken.Coar@Golux.Com)
Mon, 05 Apr 1999 15:35:54 -0400

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Stick a fork in it..

#ken	P-)}

Ken Coar <http://Web.Golux.Com/coar/> Apache Group member <http://www.apache.org/> "Apache Server for Dummies" <http://Web.Golux.Com/coar/ASFD/> --------------4C3A0C1A689A1B19A9CB5E97 Content-Type: message/rfc822 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Disposition: inline

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Manoj Kasichainula - manojk at io dot com - http://www.io.com/~manojk/
"the first reaction should _not_ be 'Oh, cool, I wonder what that does if I
run it as root'" --Linus Torvalds

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Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <nev@bostic.com> From: rob@plan9.bell-labs.com

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 visit.

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.