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May 15

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History – Albuquerque

Fat Man and Little Boy The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History explains the good, the bad, and the ugly of harnessing nuclear power.  This museum does a wonderful straight to the point explanation of the who, what, when, where, and whys of mankind’s drive to enter the Atomic Age.   I can honestly say that I learned more about nuclear energy and its history from walking around this museum for a few hours than I did in the all the time that I was in school.  Now you might be thinking that this museum is only for those who are interested in military history or science and obviously those types will enjoy it tremendously.  However, I think because of the stigma nuclear power brings to many people’s minds, and the way this museum explains its history everybody that goes will get something out of their visit.
World War II Propaganda

As soon as I walked in I knew that I was going to exercise my mind while I was there because the first thing that I saw was the periodic table embedded on the floor tile.  The museum does a great job walking the visitor through the beginnings of atomic theories to the race to build the atomic bomb during World War II.  From there it covers just about everything a person would want to know about nuclear science and its history and then some.
Museum Artifacts

All-in-All there are 11 main exhibits to go through.  With these exhibits, the museum covers everything from explaining what radiation is and what effect it has on the world around us to a diorama of a cold war fallout shelter.  Children also have plenty to see and do here at Little Albert’s Lab where children can do a few experiments and learn about science on their own.  While I was there in March all of the hands-on displays were working, but like any museum that has those types of areas that might not be the case when you go.
Radiation

There were several areas dedicated to the militarization of nuclear energy.  Including replicas of Fat Man and Little Boy which were the names of the atomic bombs that the United States used on Japan during World War II.  Along with the replicas there were photographs of before and after the bombs were dropped.  The museum also does a good job explaining how Harry S. Truman came to the conclusion of dropping the bomb.  The museum also had several Cold War era artifacts like broken arrows (accidental events involving nuclear bombs) atomic torpedoes, missiles, and probably the craziest idea of all, a nuclear bomb-in-a backpack.
Broken Arrows

In the back of the museum there is an area that is called Heritage Park.  This is a five-acre outdoor exhibit that is the home to planes, rockets, missiles, and cannons.  Two unique features of this area are the fact that they have an atomic cannon and a B-52 that have actually dropped a live nuclear bomb.  Where else could you see something like that?  They also have a blueprint of the future plans that they have for this area.  I do know when they will go into effect, but if they ever do it will be quite impressive.
Atomic Cannon

Going to this museum at least once is worth your time if you are ever in the Albuquerque area.  I would not classify it as some place that I would repeatedly go, but it is a very interesting museum where any visitor could learn a lot about the history of nuclear energy.  If the museum ever completes their master plan I would definitely go back, but until then once was good enough for me.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
Located at 601 Eubank Blvd SE, Albuquerque
Hours of Operation are from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. year round closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
Cost as of this posting Adults 18 to 59 $8.00 Seniors 60 and over along with children 6 to 17 are $7.00 children 5 and under are free
For more information visit their website at http://www.nuclearmuseum.org/
Atomic Power

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