Air Force Bases

Titan I Launch Sequence

The launch sequence took approximately 15 minutes. After receiving a launch order, the crew filled the missile's tanks with 200,000 pounds of liquid oxygen and RP-1. After the missile was fueled, it rode to the surface on the silo elevator and then was fired. The flight began with the ignition of the large first-stage engine that burned for 134 seconds and propelled the missile to an altitude of 35 miles. As the first stage expired and fell away, the second stage fired; it burned for another 156 seconds, boosting the missile to an altitude of 150 miles and a velocity of 22,554 feet per second. After the second stage fell silent, two small vernier engines fired for an additional 50 seconds making final course corrections to the trajectory. After the vernier engines burned out, the reentry vehicle carrying the warhead followed a ballistic trajectory, and at the apogee of its flight soared to an altitude of 541 miles above the earths surface. Time elapsed for a 5,500 mile flight: 33 minutes.

A Titan I launch sequence is demonstrated at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in 1961. Fifty-four of these liquid-fueled missiles, each carrying a 4.5 megaton warhead, were deployed in groups of three at five air force bases between 1962 and 1965. Each missile was 98 feet (22.9 meters) tall. The elapsed time between the first and last frame is approximately 15 minutes. Note the persons in the first and last frames.