The Atlas Missile was the first
operational intercontinental ballistic missile in America's nuclear
arsenal and the beginning of the United States Space Program.
The book Atlas Missile states that the program was the most
expensive and comprehensive engineering feat in history - at least
up to that time. The lessons learned with Atlas were later
applied to the Titan, Minuteman and Saturn, which made the moon
Although the Atlas left SAC's arsenal, they were
far from dead. Eventually most ended up at Vandenberg AFB, where
they have been used to launch a great many satellites. Over the
years, there have been many modifications of them and they are still being
used. Last year, one of the news magazines reported that the
remaining supply were receiving new engines. Ironically the new
engines had been purchased from Russia. They were probably made very
near the targets that the Atlas was designed to destroy.