|Saguaro, cholla, a gazebo and the Tucson Mountains|
The museum's purpose is to help future generations (and even us old-timers) understand why it was necessary to have 54 of these Titan II missiles stationed around this country, ready to fire. In short, they were there precisely so that they would never have to be fired. This MADness was about Mutually Assured Destruction. The United States and the Soviet Union each over-armed so that the other would understand that, once a missile were launched, there'd be nothing left of both countries.
Several members of a local Boy Scout troop were on our tour. Those blue hardhats you see were required for any adult over 5'10". During the tour, I was saved a few bangs on the head by my blue hard hat. Bob, our guide, explained a few things before leading us down 55 steps (which we would have to climb back up to get out). Suzy and I, along with an Assistant Scoutmaster, opted for the cargo elevator, seen rising from the ground.
|After the tour, Joe gave us and another ride back up.|
In the actual Command Center, Bob selected one very young boy to be the Deputy Missile Command Center Controller, and one of the Scouts to be Missile Command Center Controller. Using these two lucky volunteers, Bob led us through a simulated launch.
|The Scouts were really into this stuff. The boys in the chairs are the Commander and Deputy Commander.|
As we left the Command Center, we took our personal souvenir photo. Since Suzy drives our large vehicle, she was the obvious candidate for the Commander's chair!
We were led quite a distance from the Command Center through a tunnel to the silo itself for a view of the deactivated Titan II. (More expensive tours take visitors 100 feet down into the silo and into the launch duct for a view up the missile and to the sky beyond the blast door.)
Back outside, the grounds are deceptively simple.
This is a missile engine.
|Can you imagine the blast from this cone?|
The bomb that once resided in this missile would have had a blast impact 650 times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II!
We ended our day's tour more prosaically with a visit to the artsy little town of Tubac. But that story will wait until another post.
This was a very fine day in ... Our Life on Wheels.