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Many ginormous blast doors. They built a concrete plant onsite and poured the entire silo in one session!

The entire place was built to withstand a direct hit with a nuclear warhead. This is the floor of the control room. It is entirely suspended by these ginormous springs.

The launch console

Here be the top secret launch sequence instructions. In the background is another floor suspension spring.

This walkway connects the control room to the silo. It is suspended by 54 springmounted brackets.

A peek into the actual silo. Lowered maintenance walkways with technicians, the missile.

Retracted maintenance walkways, sound-deadening material. The noise of the missile launch itself is loud enough to shake the missile apart into pieces, therefore the silo is lined with sound-deadening material. In addition, at launch thousands of gallons of water are pumped into the silo. The heat from the rocket engine instantly turns it into steam which is a good sound absorber. The silo is for one-time use only as it is destroyed during an actual launch.

The reentry vehicle with the nuclear warhead. If you see one of these coming your way - run.

This is an accident report about an incident that happened in 1980 in a Titan II silo at Little Rock Arkansas Air Force Base:

"Over the history of the Titan II missile there were five fatal accidents at operational missile silos. While it did not result in the most deaths, the accident that took place September 18-19, 1980 was the most spectacular.

In the late afternoon of the 18th a maintenance man working in the silo accidentally dropped a nearly nine pound socket which bounced down the silo eventually hitting the missile and creating a leak from the Stage 1 fuel tank. Over the next few hours the silo was evacuated while crews worked to vent the fuel vapors.

At 3am on the 19th, just after two RFHCO suited crewmen had returned to the surface from taking readings in the silo, a massive explosion ripped through the silo. The force of the blast blew the 760 ton silo closure door several hundred feet into the air, it eventually came to rest over 700 feet away. The second stage of the missile was blown out of the silo where its ruptured fuel tanks exploded.

Fortunately, the reentry vehicle and the nuclear warhead were thrown clear by this explosion. The warhead was found several hundred feet from the silo, damaged but intact. One of the two crewmen directly above the silo at the time of the explosion, Senior Airman David L. Livingston was killed, but the other received relatively minor injuries despite having been thrown 150 feet.

The photos depict the aftermath of the explosion. The aerial photo shows the final resting place of the silo door in the upper left hand corner of the photo. The other images show the damage to the silo and a close-up view of the mangled door."

Fascinating stuff. Amazing to see how much thought went into constructing this installation, the amount of protocols used to run it, and the degree of safety and protection. Also interesting to step back in time like that and see such old technology.

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