Headline, November 27 2022/ ''' '' TOUR NUCLEAR TEST '' '''


 TEST '' '''

TAKING IN THE DAWN OF THE NUCLEAR AGE. Eerie landscape surrounds ground zero at detonation site of first atomic bomb.

BEFORE detonation, the gadget's makers were not sure it would work [although calculations calmed concerns that the bomb could ignite earth's atmosphere].

In the pre-dawn dark, scientists and soldiers took up stations 10,000 yards from what they called  ''ground zero'', held slabs of welders' glass before their eyes and waited for the countdown.

They say the sun rose twice over a corner of southern New Mexico on July 16, 1945. The first sunrise was produced by the detonation of a new weapon its makers had nicknamed  '' the gadget ''. The actual sun rose 10 minutes later, dawning on a new era in human history.

The world's first atomic bomb exploded that morning, launching the nuclear age and foreshadowing the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki within a month.

Though the creation of the bomb was called the Manhattan Project, much of its development took place in New Mexico, making it the premier nuclear state in the United States., with today, weapon labs,  acache of nuclear weapons, a nuclear command center and atomic history around every butte.

Some of the sites are off limits to the public, but it is possible to tour atomic New Mexico without getting irradiated or arrested.

The detonation site itself is known as Trinity Site, and it lies within the White Sands Missile Range, a 3,200-square-mile are of forbidden high desert, on a plateau of cresote bush and sand deep between two knife-sharp mountain ranges.

The test site has traditionally been open to visitors two days a year, in spring and fall, but the pandemic put a temporary halt to visits.

This fall, the Army announced that it would resume public visits, with the first open house scheduled for the second weekend of October. Against the backdrop of war in Ukraine and the Russian president Vladimir V. Putin's nuclear rhetoric, there's no time like the present to think about our nuclear history, and I decided to make Trinity Site my first stop on an atomic tour of the state.

The bomb project's lead scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, named it Trinity after a John Donne poem about humanity, faith and submission to God.

The New Mexico landscape is eerily suited to an Atomic tour. Relics of primordial geological violence are everywhere : lunging rifts and canyons, volcanic calderas, ancient lava flows and a vast, surreal, white desert.

Before 8.a.m, a line of cars already snaked down the one-lane blacktop to the White Sands gate, where soldiers in yellow vests checked driver's licenses for names on the foreign terrorist list.

A Sunday-market vibe prevailed. Under a cobalt October sky, picnic tables. dogs on leashes, gamboling children. Volunteers grilled hot dogs and brats and sold chips, candy, soda and water under a tent. Mushroom cloud T-shirts and other atomic swag could be had at another.

Everyone ambled toward the precise spot where the gadget, a plutonium core surrounded by TNT, had been detonated on a high platform.

All that's left of the 100-foot tower that evaporated is a two-inch stub of concrete, but a 12-foot obelisk with a plaque commemorates the date and detonation site. There the crowd coagulated, awaiting selfie turns.

Between selfies and noshing on brats and chips, visitors rock-hunted, peering down at the sand between tufts of hardy grass for bits of the sage -green substance called trinitite. 

Trinitite was formed when sand, sucked up and liquefied by the blast, fell back to earth. It is against federal law to take it home, but bits are for sale at a nearby rock shop, for $30 to $60 a gram.

Radioactive fallout plumed over the area, but the public was never warned, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a publication founded in 1945 by nuclear physicists concerned about the dangers of atomic weapons.

The Army publicly attributed windows blown out for 120 miles around to a munitions depot accident. Health data was never collected, and descendants of some of the nearby inhabitants are still seeking compensation for what they say are generations of cancer.

MANY SCIENTISTS present at the first test came to rue their invention. The explosion was a ''foul and awesome display,'' the test director, Kenneth Bainbridge, said to Oppenheimer after the test.

''Now we are all sons of bitches,'' Bainbridge continued.

''CREEPY,'' ''AWESOME'' and ''a little boring'' were comments I heard. One couple who met online playing the video game Fallout, had road-tripped from Missouri to get engaged at the site.

Richard Cooper, a retired physicist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the bomb was invented said he felt ''mixed emotions'' at the obelisk.

''It is a terrible invention, but it was going to get made. ''If not us, the Germans.'' 

Like Asia : ''If India, then Pakistan.''

The Sadness and Concern of this publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Nina Burleigh.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, Mankind, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! -The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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