• Underground Delta-01 LCC, 44th Missile Wing/66th Strategic Missile Wing logos, topside view of Delta-09 LF

    Minuteman Missile

    National Historic Site South Dakota

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    I-90 Exit 131 (Visitor Contact Station) is open in both directions. Exit 127 (Launch Control Facility) is closed to eastbound traffic, but open to westbound traffic. Pick up all tour tickets at exit 131. Allow extra time to travel to Delta-01 for tours.

Minuteman ICBM

Minuteman II missile test launches

A Minuteman II missile test launches


The Minuteman was - and still is today - a technological wonder. The first solid fuelled ICBM the U.S. Air Force ever made operational, the Minuteman could stand dormant and unmanned for days, weeks, months and now decades on end, with limited maintenance and upkeep.

Remotely controlled from underground launch control center's miles away from the silos, it was a hair trigger launch repsonse. From the time keys were turned to execute a positive launch command, until the missile left the silo, only took about a minute.

The first Minuteman's were deployed in Montana at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis on October 26, 1962. Over the next five years, 1,000 Minuteman's were placed across the central and northern Great Plains.

The Minuteman has gone through several upgrades over the years, increasing its distance, accuracy and efficiency. At present there are still 450 Minuteman III's operational on the Great Plains.

Did You Know?

Minuteman Missile in flight

The only Minuteman Missile ever launched out of an active silo took place at a silo north of Newell, South Dakota on March 1, 1965. The flight only lasted a total of seven seconds with the rocket landing in a nearby pasture.