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Report - Titan I Missile Base, Lowry AFB, Colorado, USA - Sept. 2009

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by insanebuslady, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. insanebuslady

    insanebuslady 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Nov 16, 2008
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    Titan I Missile Silo, Lowry AFB, Colorado, USA - Sept. 2009

    Visited with a Quarantine from UER. Cold-called, and he was a nice enough guy to take me and show me some cool places around Denver. Had to wait about three hours in a house full of his roommates whom I'd never met before in my life, but the superb evening more than made up for it. Plus they were nice people. Looks like I'm rambling, down to the point.

    First we went to an old sugar mill (Pictures of which I'll have up as soon as I can), followed by the main attraction, the Titan I missile base. We didn't get to the base until about 12:30 am, knowing that there were hours of UE titilation ahead of us. We spent about half an hour in the prarie outside the missile base, ogling at a floating light we though was a UFO, until we realized it was just a stationary light that had the illusion of moving due the travelling lights on a distant highway. We then descended into the base and entered the massive 140 freaking feet diameter power dome. To see such a large scale structure entirely subterranean is somewhat of a religious experience to me, and it was hard to tear myself away. But there was exploring to be done.

    I wish I'd worn a pedometer so I could have had some idea how much walked that evening, but I'm sure it was several miles. To say that these bases are large is an understatement. You really have to experience it in order to fully understand, but I would liken it to some of the largest asylums and their many miles of underground tunnel. The number of bullet holes we saw was pretty unnerving and I was shitting my pants thinking about some drunk country folk running across us and our cameras. Probably completely off base, but we love to think in terms of worst case scenarios dont we? Anyway, I was able to shelve these thoughts and take in what is one of the greatest cold-war relics still in existence. Now that I'm done with my long-ass report, onto the long-ass history (compliments of siloworld.com, strategic-air-command.com, and missilebases.com). Scroll through it if you don't want to read.


    The Lowry Air Force Base Deertrail launchers were part of a system of six missile bases located in the vicinity of Lowry AFB, south of Denver. The Deertrail Site B base was operated by the 725th Strategic Missile Squadron (formerly the 849th SMS until July 1961) from August 1960 until June 1965. Each squadron was deployed in a 3x3 configuration, which meant a total of nine missiles were divided into three bases. Each missile base had three ICBM missiles ready to launch at any given time. Construction was achieved by cut-and-cover techniques, with the excavated earth being filled back in after the complex was completed. The silo was designed to withstand overpressures of 100 psi during a nuclear attack, arm and prep after the initial attack, and launch a counterattack. Each base cost roughly $170,000,000 million in 1960’s dollars, and could support a crew of 150 for 30 days, with a total floor space of over 50,000 sq. ft., and covered an area of 40-60 acres on the surface (!). The base was spread out into distinctly different parts.

    At one end were the missile silos, each 160 feet deep and 44 feet in width. These were constructed of reinforced concrete 2-3 feet thick, with silo doors each weighing in at 125 tons. Adjacent to each launcher were the propellant storage and equipment terminal buildings, which were buried 17-24 ft. underground. Several hundred feet away were the domed control room and powerhouse, 40 feet high and 100 feet in diameter, and 60 feet high and 127 feet in diameter, respectively. Nearby was the cylindrical entry portal, 72 feet deep and 38 feet in diameter. The high-frequency guidance antennas were roughly 1,300 feet from the closest launcher and housed in silos 67 feet deep and 38 feet in diameter. These would be raised about ground as the missile was prepared for firing. Over 2,500 feet of corrugated steel tunnel, 9 feet in diameter and buried 40 feet beneath the surface connected all the buildings in the complex.

    The Titan missile was America’s first true multi-stage ICBM. The goal in producing the Titan was to serve as a back-up in case the Atlas failed, and to develop a two-stage missile that could carry a larger payload with a longer range, which could also serve a booster vehicle for manned space flights (A small step for mankind?). The Titan Missile was produced by the Martin Company, with a cryogenic liquid-fuel system (like Atlas) that later proved to be a major drawback. Each missile had an effective range of 5,500 miles and delivered 300,000 lbs. of thrust in its first stage, and 80,000 lbs. in the second.

    The launch sequence took approximately 15 minutes, with the missile being filled with 200,000 lbs. of liquid oxygen and RP-1 liquid propellant during that time. By the time the second stage with through firing, it would be 150 miles high and travelling at 22,554 feet per second. Two smaller vernier engines fired for an addition 50 seconds, making final course corrections, at which point the warhead would follow it’s ballistic trajectory to it’s target. The entire 5,500 mile journey lasted approximately 33 minutes.

    Floor Plan

    -Historical Photos-

    All three missiles raised and ready to launch

    Power Dome and Command Dome under construction. Displays cut-and-cover technique used in construction.

    Silo under construction


    Control Center in operation

    -My Photos-

    Power Dome. 127 feet in diameter and 60 feet tall. Shape designed to absorb the force of a nuclear blast, along with all the floors being spring-loaded

    Oxygen Centrifuges. The acted as filters for the air intake.


    Spring loaded piping to absorb shock

    Top of Command Dome. Those racks would have housed logical circuits used in the launch sequence.

    Acoustic Baffling in Launch Control room.

    Note the many bullet holes

    High-Frequency Antenna Silo

    Central Junction. Branches out into tunnels leading to Command Dome, Power Dome, Guidance Arrays, and Missile Launchers and support systems.

    Blast Door

    Looking down into launcher. Trunking and Fuel Crib visible on side of launcher. Remember, this is over halfway full of water!

    Part of three-story service bay that was needed to maintain each missile.

    Looking at the launchers 125 ton (each leaf!) silo doors.



    Unbelievable long tunnel leading to the Launchers

    A couple more on my Flickr

    I'll have a new report up for Essex County Penitentiary in a few days hopefully, if I can find time. I've been sitting on these photos for MONTHS
    #1 insanebuslady, Oct 18, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009

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