National Geographic : 1954 Jul
© National Geographic Society 110 Kodachromes by National Geographic Photographer J. Baylor Roberts Nike, Slim and Lethal, Has a Brain in Its Head and a Rocket in Its Tail Designed by Bell Laboratories, Nike's electronic brain guides it to an enemy plane no matter how the pilot may dodge. When plane and missile come together, Nike's warhead explodes. Above: The missiles on launching platforms are hauled to firing site at White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico. Opposite, above: A hooded workman injects liquid propellant into Nike's tail. Fueling crewmen must wear rubberized suits, and a fireman stands by with ready hose. Below, left: Battery-control crew in mobile van watch Nike on radar screen as it guides itself to the target. Below and right: Photographs snapped 1-, second apart show Nike's take-off. The black tail, a booster rocket, drops off when fuel is used up. At top speed Nike goes faster than a rifle bullet (page 120).