NASA Image of the Day Gallery has just released this nice photo of NASA engineer Chip Holloway waiting for the sun to align with the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) during a clean room "sun-look" test on March 4, 2013, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Last year, two men were handcuffed and detained after a drunken bar incident. Not unremarkable for your average road warrior. Except these two men were federal agents, and their cargo was nuclear weaponry. That's terrifying. And it's happened before.
The video here has a lot of information. If you're short on time, I recommend watching the simulation of how the system would assign and deploy fighter jets and surface to air missiles to each threat, which is at about the 20 minute mark.
Dag Spicer from the Computer History Museum leaned over and unscrewed a bolt. Underneath, it read, "I can't stand it". The operator's job was to look for cold war bombers that never came. I would go mad, too. Look:
Listen to the heartbeat of SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment), IBM's giant air defense computer, in this propaganda ... I mean, educational ... film from approximately 1956. Weighing in 250 tons and using 60,000 vacuum tubes, SAGE "was the largest computer ever built." It required an acre of floor space.