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Atlas Ad Astra Missile Silo: The Stuff of Science Fiction

 Atlas Ad Astra Missile Silo entrance
Story and photos
by Kathleen Walls

I remember back in school during the Cold War years we were told, "Get under your desk when a nuclear air raid sounds." Yeah, that really would have protected us from a nuclear bomb! There were science fiction books and rumors of underground nuclear missile silos built to retaliate if Russia fired a missile at the US. Later years proved the rumors were true. Missile silos were built mostly in western states like Kansas. When the Atlas missiles became obsolete, the government decommissioned the missile bases, removed the obsolete missile, and sold the property. One in Wilson, Kansas was bought by Matthew Fulkerson.

man and woman and dog in lower level ad astro silo

He has big plans for this silo, which once housed an Atlas F Missile. He already created an Airbnb apartment where the military personnel lived, and he can accommodate a few large RVs, car or van campers who want to boondock. The countryside is beautiful with a view of a nearby windfarm. He plans to turn the place into a full-fledged RV resort with full hook-ups. He has plans for The Launch Control Center to become an Educational Center for Space Habitat Studies to prepare humans to live on other planets.

two women onhatch that would have openedto launch missile

On the grass above is a large circle where a steel enforced hatch would have opened to launch the atlas rocket if an attack was eminent. The hatches are huge and give an idea of the size of the missile that would pass through them. Farther over, there is a small cement circular manhole type entrance with a ladder down it into the heart of the silo that would have been an emergency exit in case of any malfunction.

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man entering vault doors in silo

Matthew, along with Buddy and Bing, the site's resident dogs, led us through the silo. We didn't enter through the small manhole entrance. We descended into the silo through some steep stairs. It was like stepping into an old science fiction book. We passed through multiple vault type doors about a foot thick called Blast Doors.

matthew in kitchen area of silo wiht escape hatch laddder showing

The first level down is where Matthew renovated and created the Airbnb. Inside, the silo is round and the section where you enter from the staircase is a large living area. Following around, there is a master bedroom and a small room with a bunk bed, a bathroom, and a kitchen. The kitchen area has a curved seating bar separating it from the living area. Inside here is where the manhole escape ladder exits to outdoors.

bedroom in airbnb

Back in the day, there would have been a kitchen and toilet here, as well as medical supplies and the air conditioning and ventilating equipment.

 Matthew showing us map of silo

Taking the stairs down to the loser level, which would have been the Underground Launch Control Center which would have required two people to activate and launch the missile to send nuclear destruction raining down on Russia. It's where Matthew plans to house the Educational Center.

Directly behind the stairs is the tunnel leading to the actual silo. One of the most thrilling parts is walking through that narrow tunnel to stare down into the actual missile location. Looking up was the reverse of the cement pad we saw above ground with the hatches to lauch the missille.

looking at teh launch area on topof missile silo

When I staring down, I was looking into one of the most hardened places man has ever built, to a depth of about 176 feet and 52 feet wide. The silo, constructed of reinforced concrete, once stored a nuclear missile about 82-1/2 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. Had it ever been activated, the explosion would have been more powerful than the bombs we dropped on Japan to end WWII.

looking downint the silo

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