The lower door is where the rocket exhaust would flow into the blast pit during initial launch. The upper doors would vent the rocket so the erector and other equipment in the building would not be (as) damaged.
The only light in the ‘coffin’ of the Atlas E is that which leaks through the exhaust vents.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
The middle missile launcher, as seen from the roof of its neighbor.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
The fiery side of a launch building, just is it began to rain.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.