Peacekeeper ICBM at launch
At the heart of that Cold War policy of "mutually assured destruction" were the two countries' arrays of ICBMs, or intercontinental ballistic missiles, like the 1980s-era Peacekeeper seen here. Loaded with one or more nuclear warheads, they stood ready for a call to battle that, fortunately, never came. The first of the U.S. Air Force's operational ICBMs, the Atlas D, went on alert 50 years ago this month, on October 31, 1959--aptly enough, that is, on Halloween.
October 19, 2009 11:00 AM PDT
Photo by: U.S. Air Force photo
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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