Sunday, February 21, 2010

Atomic Testing Museum (Las Vegas)

When I was in Las Vegas last year, I noticed a sign in the Flamingo Boulevard median strip – “Atomic Testing Museum,” with an arrow pointing to a new building that looked like it still needed finishing and landscaping.
A bit intrigued, I none-the-less didn’t give it a second thought … until this month, when I was there during Super Bowl weekend. The museum had opened.
There’s not a lot of interactive stuff there, and kids might be bored with its exhibits. But for those of us who grew up during the height of the Cold War, the various galleries send a chill up the spine because of how close we came to nuclear annihilation in the ‘60s.
Nevada, of course, is an important part of nuclear testing – both above- and under-ground. In the free, photo section of the museum are pictures that capture the awesome beauty and power of fireballs and mushroom clouds.
Unfortunately, on the day that I was there, four of the 14 galleries were closed, as National Geographic was there, filming interviews for a future special.
They didn’t allow photography, but I was able to sneak a couple of pictures:
Nuclear test mushroom clouds in Nevada

The famous Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb test

Display of Geiger counters

Display noting omipresent nuclear radiation

Nuclear bomb designed to be carried by fighters

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

One thing I don't want to see in an atomic testing museum: a button that says "Try me". ;)