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Convair SM-65 Atlas

Note: This item is currently in storage.

The Strategic Air Command's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was the Convair B-65 Atlas (later redesignated SM-65). The Atlas became operational in 1959. Because of the vulnerability of the Atlas while above ground, an underground silo was developed. An elevator raised it to ground-level for launching.

While on alert duty, the Atlas missile was maintained in the fully raised (above ground) position since it could not be launched from its underground silo. The silo was only for protection from enemy attack. The Atlas ICBM could deliver a nuclear warhead more than 6,300 miles from its launch site. Phased out in 1965, the Atlas still served as a first stage booster for USAF and NASA space projects, including several Mercury manned space flights. 

SPECIFICATIONS (Atlas D):
Diameter:
10 ft. (not including strap-on boosters)
Length: 75 ft. 10 in. (85 ft. 6 in. in ICBM configuration)
Weight: 260,000 lbs. maximum at launch
Armament: Nuclear warhead on ICBM, none on scientific or Mercury flights
Engines (ICBM/Atlas D): Two Rocketdyne LR105-NA strap-on boosters & One Rocketdyne LR89-NA-3 plus two small vernier rockets for attitude correction (steering)
Engine thrust at launch: 360,000 lbs.
Crew: None (One on Atlas Mercury) 

PERFORMANCE (Atlas D):
Maximum speed:
Orbital velocity of about 17,500 mph. (approximately 16,000 mph as an ICBM)
Range: over 6,300 miles as an ICBM (the Atlas D could achieve orbit)
Maximum altitude: varied by orbital track (approximately 900 miles as an ICBM)

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In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
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