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As a liquid, Aerozine was clear and colorless. As a vapor, it reacted with the water and the oxygen in the air and became a whitish cloud with a fishy smell. This fuel vapor could be explosive in proportions as low as 2 percent. Inhaling it could cause breathing difficulties, a reduced heart rate, vomiting, convulsions, tremors, and death. The fuel was also highly carcinogenic and easily absorbed through the skin. In its liquid form, the oxidizer was a translucent, yellowy brown. Although not as flammable as the fuel, it could spontaneously ignite if it touched leather, paper, cloth, or wood.
And its boiling point was only 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures any higher, the liquid oxidizer boiled into a reddish brown vapor that smelled like ammonia. When inhaled, the oxidizer could destroy tissue in the upper respiratory system and the lungs. The damage might not be felt immediately. Six to twelve hours after being inhaled, the stuff could suddenly cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema leading to death. But it was far more likely that a slight change in temperature had lowered the pressure inside the tank.
Air-conditioning units in the silo were supposed to keep the missile cooled to about 60 degrees. The nitrogen maintained a steady pressure on the liquid inside, pushing downward. It was a simple, mundane task, like putting air in your tires before long drive. During his first visit to a launch complex, an oxidizer leak created a toxic cloud that shut down operations for three days.
Plumb had been with the th for just nine months. Plumb was nineteen, raised in suburban Detroit. It had a white detachable bubble helmet with a voice-actuated radio and a transparent Plexiglas face screen. The suit was off white, with a long zipper extending from the top of the left shoulder, across the torso, to the right knee. The suit weighed about twenty-two pounds.
The outfit was heavy and cumbersome. It could be hot, sticky, and uncomfortable, especially when worn outside the air-conditioned silo. But it could also save your life. The stage 2 oxidizer pressure cap was about two thirds of the way up the missile. In order to reach it, Powell and Plumb had to walk across a retractable steel platform that extended from the silo wall. The tall, hollow cylinder in which the Titan II stood was enclosed by another concrete cylinder with nine interior levels, housing equipment.
Level 1 was near the top of the missile; level 9 about twenty feet beneath the missile. The steel work platforms folded down from the walls hydraulically. Each one had a stiff rubber edge to prevent the Titan II from getting scratched, while keeping the gap between the platform and the missile as narrow as possible.
The airmen entered the launch duct at level 2. Far above their heads was a concrete silo door. It was supposed to protect the missile from the wind and the rain and the effects of a nuclear weapon detonating nearby. The door weighed tons. Far below the men, beneath the Titan II, a concrete flame deflector shaped like a W was installed to guide the hot gases downward at launch, then upward through exhaust vents and out of the silo.
The missile stood on a thrust mount, a steel ring at level 7 that weighed about 26, pounds. The thrust mount was attached to the walls by large springs, so that the Titan II could ride out a nuclear attack, bounce instead of break, and then take off. In addition to the W warhead and a few hundred thousand pounds of propellants, many other things in the silo could detonate.
The missile also housed numerous small rocket engines with flammable solid fuel to adjust the pitch and the roll of the warhead midflight. The Titan II launch complex had been carefully designed to minimize the risk of having so many flammables and explosives within it.
Fire detectors, fire suppression systems, toxic vapor detectors, and decontamination showers were scattered throughout the nine levels of the silo. These safety devices were bolstered by strict safety rules. Every Category I task had to be performed according to a standardized checklist, which the team chief usually read aloud over the radio communications network.
There was one way to do everything—and only one way. When complying with step four, do not exceed one hundred sixty foot-pounds of torque. Overtorquing may result in damage to the missile skin. It struck the platform and bounced. Powell grabbed for it but missed. Plumb watched the nine-pound socket slip through the narrow gap between the platform and the missile, fall about seventy feet, hit the thrust mount, and then ricochet off the Titan II. It seemed to happen in slow motion.
A moment later, fuel sprayed from a hole in the missile like water from a garden hose. Eric Schlosser. Brief content visible, double tap to read full content. Full content visible, double tap to read brief content. Opiniones de clientes. Ha surgido un problema al filtrar las opiniones justo en este momento.
Vuelva a intentarlo en otro momento. Compra verificada. A very interesting book, giving a precise and documented report of the main events of the cold war and of the most dreadful accidents involving nuclear weapons. If you've seen the TV documentary of the same name about the Titan Missile Base accident at Damascus, you'd think this book is just that, but in more detail. The book looks at the history of nuclear weapons, their development, their use, their deployment, their storage, their control or lack of and of course, the many near-misses we've had with them over the years.
This book is right up there with Richard Rhodes' "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" in terms of detail, research and quality. Whereas Rhodes focuses on the people, the hows and whys of the atomic bomb, Schlosser really looks at the way the bomb has been managed over the years, the lack of control over it, the almost cavalier attitude to safety, and how we've managed just to avoid disaster time and time again.
Highly recommended if you're in to this sort of thing. Eric Schlosser has written a book which should be read by everybody. He avoids the twin traps of falling into anti-nuclear polemicism or of writing military techno porn and the resulting impeccable balance and avoidance of sharpening axes magnifies the books impact. The book is not a history of nuclear weapons development, not a history of nuclear strategy nor of the political issues attached to nuclear weapons although clearly the book does provide much back ground on these comments.
The book is primarily a book about the safety of nuclear weapons, the command and control system for US nuclear weapons and a detailed narrative of the disaster which destroyed a Titan II missile at site near Damascus, Arkansas in The book alternates between the tragedy at site and a more or less chronological history of US nuclear weapons safety and command and control. The author has clearly done a huge amount of research both into the specifics of what happened at site and the US nuclear weapons program, including extensive interviews with key individuals as well as researching archives, papers, reports and secondary sources.
If this is a story with numerous heroes, particularly the men who struggled valiantly to avoid a disaster at site and who maintained and stood ready to launch nuclear weapons it is perhaps surprisingly a story with few villains.
Curtis LeMay is still a figure of derision and hate to many yet the picture which emerges in Schlosser's book is more nuanced and not unsympathetic. He appears as a tough and uncompromising commander yet one who was certainly no war monger and who had a real sense of care towards his men and who was in many ways a progressive character.
And his personal courage is undeniable, Schlosser allows readers to draw their own conclusions after commenting on a man who had flown numerous bombing missions over Germany being assailed by cries of "sieg heil" in The book examines the nuclear policies of several Presidents including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Reagan as well as men like McNamara.
In each case whilst the flaws are recognised the author is far from unsympathetic and presents a balanced picture. And clearly the book tells the stories of many technical, military and scientific specialists. The book recounts numerous nuclear accidents, the events at site are told in great detail whereas other incidents are summarised.
The sheer number of these accidents is really rather terrifying. The book highlights the beaurocratic inertia and in-fighting which hampered efforts to improve the safety of nuclear weapons yet also at the end recognises that no accidental or unintended detonation of a US nuclear war head ever took place despite numerous major incidents and a multitude of vulnerabilities. Those looking for a hatchet job on the US military and policy will be very disappointed.
Equally those looking for a celebration of nuclear deterrence will be equally disappointed. Those looking for a very balanced, non-sensationalist and well researched examination of nuclear weapons safety will find this to be a truly outstanding work. The book is very well written and never feels laboured or dry. I bought this book used and as you can see from the photo the issue is that the cover is a little faded, apart from that the rest of the book looks and feels brand new.
A full and heartwarming story about the power of companionship that will delight young readers and have older ones wanting to learn more about Elise's path through life. The illustrations are three-dimensional with the contrast of paper cutouts for characters and other design elements throughout. Apron-wearing Elise likes to clean her home, but she doesn't like to leave it: 'Elise was scared of everything.
It's a boy with a red cap and bare feet. It's urgent! Sure enough, the boy and Elise begin a most unexpected friendship. Elise's house fills with color--warm yellow, fuchsia, and red--and we see her smile. Damm emphasizes how much people need others to care about, and readers will enjoy going back over the pages to see how the colors change. Warm connection ensues. What makes it striking is Damm's nifty, expressive art, photographs of dioramas and cutout painted figures.
Dressed in red and yellow, the boy, Emil, brings color to Elise's gray world. She makes her own paper plane, and the dazzling last page needs no words: We see inside her now colorful home, but she's not there. So she never went out, night or day. One day a strange thing flies in through the window and lands at her feet.
And then there comes a knock at the door. Elise has a visitor who will change everything. The Visitor is a story about friendship and shyness that plays out in a mini theatre, as a child unwittingly brings light and color—literally—into a lonely person's life.
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