Green Valley 1: Titan Missile Station
Jan 20, 2015
|Hi Everybody. I'm trying to catch up on my trip journal posts. And I'm out of order. The most recent page I posted is actually for November and December, 2014. If you haven't read it, look back at the post dated Nov 26th, The other side of Tucson.
Now on to slightly more recent adventures. I have good friends, Mary & Mike Staples, who live about 30 miles south of Tucson in a town called Green Valley. I know, for those of you who know......"Go figure". All those years I taught at Green Valley School on Green Valley Road in CA, and now even in Arizona I have friends at Green Valley.
I've visited there a few times. Twice I've had my hair done by Mary's stylist. And Dan had an appointment with Mary and Mike's dermatologist. At church last week I learned about some great second-hand stores there. One of them is especially great because all the proceeds from the store, which has only two paid employees and all the others are volunteers, go to local charities. Mary, and the person at church, said that last year's profits, which were donated to charity, amounted to about $2 million. Wow!
There are some interesting things to do in the local area. Three of them we went to in one long day out. First we went to the Titan Missile Museum which I'll describe in this post. Then, after lunch, we went to the Asarco Mine Tour of a working copper mine. And finally we ended the day with a drive up the Santa Rita Mountains into Madera Canyon, a highly appreciated hiking and camping area in one of those "sky islands".
I'll just paste in what the museum has to say about itself:
A Rare Journey Into Cold War History
"Duck and Cover!" Bomb shelters, the Berlin Wall, weekly tests of the Emergency Broadcast System, the piercing sounds of air raid sirens, and the Space Race. These are the hallmarks of the "Cold War" era.
The Titan Missile Museum showcases the dramatic vestiges of the Cold War between the U.S. and former Soviet Union and provides a vivid education about the history of nuclear conflict-a history of keeping the peace.
At the Titan Missile Museum, near Tucson, Arizona, visitors journey through time to stand on the front line of the Cold War. This preserved Titan II missile site, officially known as complex 571-7, is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987.
Able to launch from its underground silo in just 58 seconds, the Titan II was capable of delivering a 9-megaton nuclear warhead to targets more than 6300 miles (10,000 km) away in about 30 minutes. Nowhere else in the world can visitors get this close to an intercontinental ballistic missile in its operational environment. This one-of-a kind museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the United States to deter nuclear war. What was once one of America's most top secret places is now a National Historic Landmark, fulfilling its new mission of bringing Cold War history to life for millions of visitors from around the world.
In the summer of 2013 we visited a missile launch site and launch headquarters near the Badlands in South Dakota. Those were Minuteman Missiles.(If you want to read more about our visit to the Minuteman facilities, see our old blog at TerrisTidings.blogspot.com : June 6, 2013 - "Ellsworth AFB" at the end of the post, and Oct. 4, 2013 - "Minuteman Missiles".)
Wow! Those Minuteman Missiles were impressive, but the Titan missiles are gigantic in comparison. The Titans are also the expendable rockets used for all the Project Gemini manned flights of the mid 1960s. Some of their payloads included civilian agency intelligence-gathering satellites. Titans also were used to send highly successful interplanetary scientific probes throughout the Solar System. Looking down on the missile from the top of the launch tube, or up the side of it from underground, is awesome.