PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear missile control room. Duty officer holds the firing key at a nuclear missile firing post. The major nuclear powers have elaborate procedures to prevent the launch of nuclear weapons without authorisation from the highest levels of government. This is a control room for France's land-based intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), under the control of the Commandement des Forces Aeriennes Strategiques (Strategic Air Force Command). Photographed at Plateau d'Albion, France, a base that was decommissioned in 1998.
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