Minuteman Missile NHS staff began taking reservations for the 2008 summer season on Monday April 7. The phone was busy that day, with over 150 calls requesting a summer tour. Due to the limited number of slots available on the tours, it is advised to call and reserve your tour well in advance.
During the 2008 season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) tours will be offered twice daily, Monday through Friday at 9 A.M. and 1:30 P.M. Visitors on tour are currently escorted through the topside structure and launch control capsule 30 feet below at Delta-01, a former launch control facility that housed missile crews from the 44th Missile Wing at Ellsworth AFB. They also travel to Delta-09, a missile silo containing a Minuteman II training missile. A reserved tour takes approximately one and a half hours.
In addition, the site will be offering many exciting opportunities for the upcoming summer season in which no reservations will be required.
Open houses will be offered every Tuesday throughout the summer beginning May 20 through September 2 (except for August 5). These will take place each Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The open houses allow many more visitors an opportunity to tour the site. This abbreviated tour will include a visit to the underground launch control center.
In addition Launch Facility (missile silo) Delta-09 will be open to drive up visitation from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday throughout the summer. Visitors will be able to view the Minuteman II training missile on display at this once operational silo. A ranger will also be stationed at the silo to answer any questions visitors might have about the site. The silo will also be opened to self-guided (and hopefully cell phone) tours Monday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day throughout the summer.
The visitor contact station will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This will mean for the first time ever the park will be receiving visitors on weekends. The visitor contact station will be premiering an all new park virtual tour film!
Minuteman Missile NHS was established by Congress in 1999 to tell the story of the Minuteman ICBM system, including the development of the system, the personnel who served at the 1,000 sites throughout the upper Great Plains, and the impact of the system on the communities nearby. Following the transfer of the property from the United States Air Force in September 2002, the National Park Service began preparing the site for public tours.
More information about the site can be found on the internet at www.nps.gov/mimi, or calling the contact station at 605-433-5552.