Very cool news this weekend for science dorks and fans of open-source culture of any stripe: Popular Science Magazine’s web arm, , made the entire 137-year history of the magazine available in Google Books, which means you get to see magazines reproduced in their entirety. Sadly, browsing by year isn’t yet available, but we did some searching and discovered this really great article with illustrations about NORAD just before it was finished in 1967.

If you formed your entire conception of what NORAD is like on the inside from the movie War Games, you’re not alone (we did too!). But now you can go inside to learn all about the truly glorious absurdity of its gigantic springs (941 of them made of 3″ wire), its three-story buildings (windowless, of course) and, yes, its giant screen map thingies right when they were being built. Click HERE. (NOTE, if that link doesn’t work for you, click HERE and then enter “NORAD 1965″ in the search field).

 

4 Responses to Tour NORAD in 1967

  1. ROLAND says:

    the hot links above take you to the popular science web site, but no NORAD story.

  2. Noel Black says:

    If the links don’t work for you, paste this link into your browser:

    http://www.popsci.com/archives

    Then enter “NORAD 1965″ in to the search field.

  3. Elaine Brush says:

    How does one get to go on a tour at NORAD??
    I would LOVE to go…….
    Elaine Brush

  4. Buddy Van Doren says:

    Having worked in the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex, I really appreciate KRCC finding this article. The prose in PopSci those days has a slightly quaint sensibility – that’s the first time I ever heard it called a Village – but the story is well told. I have to remark on the comment about the “absurdity” of the springs the building are mounted on – the Complex was a response to the world situation of the time, with ICBMs pointed at us, for which we had no real defense (I worked on the Anti-Ballistic Missile program too, and believe me, an effective ICBM defense is difficult). The NCMC design, including the springs, was very smart, and it would have worked against the missiles that existed at about the time it was finished. The Complex was expensive to maintain: the granite had to be anchored, and the anchors maintained and checked; even so, the seepage was a constant threat.
    The article didn’t fully cover the design of the entrance tunnel, which goes all the way through the mountain. This provides a back entrance, but its most important function was as to eliminate pressure on the blast door, which is located in the side tunnel – the overpressure of a nuclear blast would travel through the entrance and out the back, eserting relatively little pressure on the blast door.
    The primary functions were moved in 2006 to Peterson AFB ( a mistake, in my view – even though it’s expensive to maintain, it is the most defensible and secure facility for hundreds of miles). It’s now an alternate operations center, with an official status of “warm standby.”
    Check the Cheyenne Mountain Wikipedia article for a better sense of the whole period in which it was an active and important part of North America’s defense capability. Its history contains a lot of drama, including multiple false alarms, and an important role in Desert Storm.

News

Madrid Scientific Films
May 27, 2015 | NPR · Scientists say it’s not just a murder from another era, but also part of one of the earliest mass graves.
 

AP
May 27, 2015 | NPR · Does Bill Clinton have a secret corporation that he is using to hide money? Is it intended to pay a lower tax rate? Or is it something else entirely?
 

May 27, 2015 | NPR · The actor sued the retail giant for negligence last year after he was seriously injured in a crash in which his limousine was struck by a Wal-Mart truck traveling 20 mph over the speed limit.
 

Arts & Life

May 27, 2015 | NPR · For this final round, every answer contains an article of clothing or wardrobe accessory. So if we said, “colorful wasps sometimes mistaken for bees,” the answer would be “yellow jackets.”
 

May 27, 2015 | NPR · We all remember Clint Eastwood’s character Dirty Harry and his famous line, “Go ahead, make my day.” In this game, contestants deliver that line… Ask Me Another-style. So go ahead, make our pâté.
 

May 27, 2015 | NPR · It’s hard to keep a good rock band together; you’re always losing members. In this game, we take the names of famous bands and drop a letter to make a whole new band.
 

Music

Courtesy Oscar Paz Suaznabar
May 27, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Robert Siegel sits down with Oscar Paz Suaznabar, who has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From The Top.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 27, 2015 | NPR · The titanic 85-year-old jazz saxophonist and composer says two much younger musicians had no right to release a recording with him.
 

May 27, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel update listeners on our crowdsourcing music project, the All Things Considered Road Trip Playlist. NPR has received nearly 2,000 song suggestions, and on Wednesday shares some of the most literal picks — songs that are all about the feeling and adventure of hitting the road.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab