Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cheyenne Moutain

We went on a mini-vacation down to Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs this past weekend and it was lots of fun. These pictures were taken of the rock formations called, "The Garden of the Gods."



The round looking mountain in the middle that is in the distance is Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA where NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) was located up until a few years ago. During its Cold War-era reign, the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center collected data from a worldwide system of satellites, radars, and other sensors and processed that information in real-time. Operations were conducted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the Air Warning Center, Missile Warning Center, Space Control Center, Operational Intelligence Watch, Systems Center, Weather Center, and the Command Center.

While most of the day-to-day operations have since moved to nearby Peterson Air Force Base, NORAD still maintains the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate for use in the event of an emergency.

The facility is one of the most unusual installations in the world - apart from the fact that it is housed 2,000 feet (600 m) underground, it is also remarkable in that it was a joint and bi-national military organization comprising over 200 men and women from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Canadian forces.

The entrance to the facility is marked by two 25 ton blast doors and the entire underground base was designed to withstand up to a 30 megaton blast within 1 nautical mile. Twelve of the fifteen buildings are 3 stories tall, the others are one and two stories. These buildings are all free standing and mounted on 1319 giant springs each weighing 1,000 pounds (450kg) to help it withstand a nuclear blast and/or earthquakes. The springs allow it the entire complex to move 12 inches in any one direction.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

mostly cut and paste of the text from wikipedia - I'm not impressed with the plagarism of the text, it takes away from the nice photos

James said...

Anon:

If you notice, I linked to the wikipedia article when I typed this up.