Sunday, May 07, 2006

Marin Headlands Nike Missile Site

I took the free tour of the missile site today, which included riding up out of the silo with the bomb (But they won't let you ride on the bomb!).

The guide explained that the missiles with the plain nose-cone carried conventional explosives, while the missiles with the black 'doodad' carried up to a 40 megaton nuclear bomb.

Both bombs would be launched to 120,000 ft then descend and explode in the vicinity of incoming aircraft. The guidance system uses a mechanical computer which can only handle one missile at a time. Once the first missile explodes they could launch the next one.

The guide told me that the facility on Mt. Sutro was a missile tracking station and not a launch site as I stated here.

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