Nation: The Missileers

As a predawn fog oozed over the oak-rimmed ravines of California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, a disembodied voice roared out of the loudspeakers: "Strike order received! Clear the silo!" Moments later, the 400-ton steel and concrete doors of an underground Atlas silo yawned, and the missile poked its nose skyward. The countdown continued. At last, an intense yellow light bloomed through the fog as the Atlas rose from its pad like an inverted candle. The voice bawled: "Missile away!" The monster doors swung shut as the Atlas sped through the darkness toward its...

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