Way back in 1961, an Atlas missile exploded at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast. It’s taken more than 50 years, but now footage of that failed test has been restored.
The folks at Atom Central have taken three different views of the Atlas missile explosion, using footage shot by cameras stationed at Lookout Mountain Air Force Base. They upgraded the footage and photographed the final two shots at high-speed 400 frames per second. The result is breathtaking, as you see something so old occurring in such high definition. It’s surreal and honestly, kind of creepy.
The Atlas missile was the first intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the United States, dating back to its development in the late 1950s and early 1960s. At the time, it was a cutting-edge and game-changing piece of war tech. But, as the test below (which thankfully featured a dummy warhead) shows, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.
Check out the meticulously restored footage below and take a surreal stroll through the past: