ROTTING ROCKETS

BETWEEN 1961 AND 1966, COLORADO'S ROCKY MOUNTAIN Arsenal cranked out 300,000 M-55 rockets, which are now stockpiled at five of the nation's chemical-weapons storage sites. Too late, the Army discovered that the design of the weapon has a potentially fatal flaw: sarin, the deadly poison that was packed into the nose cone, tends to corrode the aluminum casing. And sarin leaking into the rear chamber accelerates the decay of the stabilizing agent that prevents the rocket fuel from "auto-igniting.'' Because there is no way to safely dismantle the rocket, the deadly nerve agent and the volatile fuel have been locked in...

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