National Atomic Museum

Albuquerque, NM    September 14, 2000

Here I had a chance to visit the  National Atomic Museum located on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  (right) Here I am with a replica of the "Little Boy" atomic weapon.  This was the first nuclear weapon used in war time and it was dropped on Aug. 6 1945 on the city of Hiroshima, Japan.  This bomb blew up with the force of 13,000 tons of TNT.  Below is an atomic canon and to the right the shells it fires.  It can fire one of these 280 mm shells a distance of about 7 miles.  Me and the Little Boy (26K)
Atomic Canon (28K) Artillary shells (29k)
Titan 2 ICBM (25K) Me and the B-52 (27K)
Redstone and Minuteman (20K) (above left) This is the famous Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).  Missiles like this were ready to fire from 1963- 1987.  This was the largest ICBM built by the US.  Some of these rockets were modified for use and used in the Gemini manned space missions.  They are now refurbishing others to launch satellites into earth orbit, a small bit of recycling and grinding the guns into plow shears.  (left) These are some smaller missiles. The green one is a Red Stone rocket.  This missile was developed in the early 50s and was later used in the Mercury manned missions to space.  The little black nose cone is a MK 6 RV.  This is the nose cone for the Titan missile.  This is the only part of the huge rocket that came back down.  It could carry several warheads or later it carried science experiments into space and back.  The tall white missile behind it is the Minuteman ICBM.  This was the next generation of ICBM.  It carried a smaller payload than the Titan and was produced in greater numbers.  Minuteman also ued solid fuel which is easier to store and transport.  Behind the Minuteman is a SNARK this is a "pioletless aircraft".  It looks just like an airplane with a motor, wings and a tail but no pilot.  Developed in the late 40s/early 50s this is the technology before rockets were powerful enough to reach across the ocean.  (above) This is a B-52 bomber
Solar tower (30K) This is the National Solar Thermal Test Facility.  On the ground in front of the tower are 218 heliostats these are basically mirrors that reflect the sun light onto the tower.  Also in this picture is a round reflector with a solar engine.  (below left) This is one of the experiments they did here in 1989.  They exposed is 1/2 inch plate of aluminum to 109 heliostats for about 23 seconds.  (below) This is a little close picture of the test tower with 3 test bays on it.  They can also put an experiment on top.  This facility tests new technology for generating power and also high temperature applications like re-entry shields and missile nose cones.  In front is a much smaller solar motor that uses the suns power to generate electricity in the small box in front of the dish.  The building is just test monitors.  A smaller generator like this is very reliable (when the sun is out) but can be set up to power a small village in the middle of nowhere where electricity is not available.  The kind of 3rd world village with a few light bulbs, computers for the school, and TV for the news. 
Aluminum plate (53K) Solar Engine and tower (28k)

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