SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Russian nuclear missile control key being used to operate a nuclear missile launch panel. Once a decision is made to launch nuclear missiles, the instructions and launch codes are transmitted to the missile silos and the soldiers stationed there carry out the launch using this key. Numerous safety precautions, such as requiring simultaneous use of two keys, are in place to prevent nuclear missiles being launched by mistake. This is a Russian nuclear missile silo, located in Orenburg, Russia. It is a training site for soldiers from Russia's strategic missile troops division. Photographed in 2007.
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