Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Missile museum recalls Cold War

The "red safe"
Those of us who were growing up in the ‘60s can remember well how scary that time during the Cold War was. After all, at any time the Soviet Union could attack us and blow the United States off the world map.  We endured air raid warnings and being told we needed bomb shelters in our homes.

The Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley, Arizona, offers a chance to relive those years as well as remind younger generations what their elders went through.

Now a national historic landmark, this Titan missile site is the only one of the 54 sites remaining today. The sites, located across the United States, were on alert from 1963 to 1987. A Titan missile could be launched in 58 seconds, and could travel 6,300 miles in half an hour.

The main floor of the museum is filled with newspaper pages with headlines that shouted out news about the Cold War. There also is some equipment, such as a “red safe,” where the launch codes and keys were kept, on display.

This part of the museum is free. To see more, visitors will need to take a guided tour for which a fee is charged. The museum accepts the Tucson Passport for this tour. The tour takes visitors to the underground launch center where they’ll learn how the launch system works, as well as the safeguards used to prevent the unnecessary launching of the missile.  Visitors also be able to see a missile in its silo. The guided tour is handicap accessible, with an elevator to take mobility-challenged visitors up and down. 

The missile museum is located about 25 miles south of Tucson. Take Exit 69 (Duval Mine Road) off Interstate 19 and follow the signs. The museum is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

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