Annette's Acre

Stitching, knitting, reading, life…whatever catches my eye
July 4th, 2010 by Annette

Happy Birthday, America

On this, America’s birthday, I thought it appropriate to share some pictures of a trip taken a couple weeks ago.

On Saturday, June 19th, we drove two hours south of Phoenix to a small museum outside of Tucson:  The Titan Missile Museum.

In the 1960’s, the Cold War was in full swing and 56 missiles were commissioned and installed in three states: Arkansas, Kansas and Arizona to keep the peace.  In 1987, the last site was decommissioned as technology had advanced to allow for a safer and more efficient missile program.  The missile housed at the museum near Tucson is the only remaining one available for public access.

We took the “Beyond the Blast Door” tour – 90 minutes long, touring the underground complex, including the missile silo (with missile at your fingertips).  It was pretty darn amazing, I must say.

We were decked out in hard hats (there’s a lot of pipes and such) and were given a brief history of the Titan II program before the group of 17 headed out.  After a brief stop to look at fueling areas and the rocket engines themselves, we looked down into the silo:

You can just see the rectangular section cut out of the nose of the rocket.  That’s so the folks peeking in via satellite see that this is a decommissioned missile. 

We went down underground into the crew quarters, the control center (Z sat in the commander’s chair and helped our guide go thru the launch sequence.  He bombed an Unidentified Military Target with the touch of a button 😉 ).  Then a trip into the silo itself… with a handy “You Are Here” chart on the 7th level:

It was a small elevator (held you and five of your closest friends) that took us down there.  Here’s K waiting around the back of the missile area for the rest of the group to make the trip:

Pipes everywhere.  Doors that were two feet thick.  All original equipment and furnishings were in the complex.  There were a couple of additions (TV and DVD player in the crew area for overnight tour guests) but otherwise, completely authentic.

And yes, you could get up close and personal with the main attraction….(an artsy-version of my pic from the bottom of the missile):

If you’re in the Tucson area, I encourage you to stop by to experience history…..

Happy Birthday, America.  Here’s to freedom and liberty…. and all it takes to keep them sacred.

Wikipedia Article


2 Responses to “Happy Birthday, America”
  1. I bet that was quite amazing in person! And most excellent artistic last photo.

  2. What a neat little family trip!