Monday, May 7, 2012

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, is the nation’s only congressionally chartered museum in its field.  With very strong (and cold) wind gusts predicted, we made a day of re-learning the story of the Atomic Age.

The facility is a relatively small, new looking building with some outside exhibits.

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History is a Smithsonian Affiliate member

If I turn this little knob, it will do what?...really?

These are re-entry vehicles for a W59 thermonuclear warhead.
The gray one (in the foreground) was shot into outer space in the 1960's to test the heat shield.
Re-entry vaporization reduced the nosecone by several inches and several pounds.

This old Admiral television set was part of a fallout shelter display in the museum. 
We zoomed in on it because it is exactly like one Wayne's grandmother won in a random drawing.

Certified Shelter Manager, Wayne.  No really, he was really a trained certified fallout shelter manager.
In this grainy photograph (wrong camera setting), he's pointing to his manager's shelter manual.

The yellow bomb behind Wayne is a weapon identical to the Fat Man Atomic Bomb.
Fat Man was the last nuclear weapon used in warfare. It was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945
A Boeing B-29 Bomber nicknamed Bockscar dropped Fat Man.

The green bomb to Wayne's right is identical to the Little Boy Atomic Bomb.
Little Boy was the first nuclear weapon used.

Nuclear fuel rods - standing in the corner.

This is a picture of a photograph of Three Mile Island where the only American nuclear accident occurred.

Nuclear waste is stored in barrels.
The signs state: "Drums Don Not Contain Radioactive Material"
I guess somebody got a little nervous about seeing that stuff in there.

This race car was part of the "Nuclear Clean Air Energy" message promoted by Paul Newman and Eddie Wachs.
It won some races and raised awareness about "clean, safe, nuclear power"  -- they say that, not me.

This is a B-29 Bomber like the ones that dropped the atomic bombs that ended the US war with Japan.

Wayne got to look inside the B-29, thanks to Mr. Patterson, a volunteer at the Museum.

This is a Nike Hercules Air Defense Missile.
It is like the ones Wayne's custodial team managed while he served in the Army.
I gave this one what I call a "radiation" look.

The view from the outside display area.
It's a horribly windy day. 
I liked this view and then "played" with it 'till I felt it looked like the 1940's.

I'd heard about the "Doomsday Clock" but didn't know one really existed. 
"The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face maintained since 1947 by the Directors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. The clock was started at seven minutes to midnight during the Cold War in 1947 and it represents the analogy of the human race being at a time that is a few minutes to midnight, where midnight represents destruction by nuclear war. The clock has been moved forward or backward, depending on the state of the world and prospects for nuclear war. The hand of the clock has moved 17 times since it's inception and was the closest to doom in 1953 -- two minutes to midnight -- when both the US and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear devices. The clock has appeared on the cover of each of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists since its introduction.

In January 2007 the Doomsday Clock hands were moved forward two minutes -- to 5 minutes to midnight -- to reflect growing concerns about worsening climate change and the increasing odds of nuclear war threatening our survival. The nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, the unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, escalating terrorism and the continued launch-ready status of 2,000 nuclear weapons held by the US and Russia were listed as reasons by the atomic scientists. Additionally the new pressure from climate change for expanded civilian nuclear power and its associated proliferation risks was also mentioned."

This is the original photo.

Lexie and Ozzie remained comfortabe in the car while we visited the museum. I tried to take them for a walk around the grounds as they like to walk on concrete, but the winds were so strong, they very nearly blew away!  Later we found a sidewalk behind a wall for a little stroll.
Bubbie almost blew away!
More wind is predicted for tonight along with a 20% chance of rain. We had planned to give the rig a 2-day washing but that project might be was placed on hold for another time.

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