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Home | News | Museum’s Trinity Site Tour Now Taking Reservations
In this historic photo, military personnel are seen moving “Jumbo” to Trinity Site. One of the concerns of the scientists who built the “Gadget” nuclear device that was detonated at Trinity Site in 1945, was that the bomb might not actually go off. In order to preserve the 13 pounds of plutonium in case of failed detonation, an 80 ton steel vessel named “Jumbo” was built with the intention of imploding the device inside. The $12 million dollar vessel was never used for that purpose because by the time the test was nearly ready, scientists were confident that it would work. Instead, “Jumbo” was suspended on a steel tower 800 meters from ground zero. The tower was completely destroyed in the explosion, but “Jumbo” remained very much intact. Later, the military tried to destroy it using eight 500 pound bombs, but only succeeded in blowing the ends off of it. What remains can still be seen at Trinity Site today. (Photo courtesy atomicheritage.org)

Museum’s Trinity Site Tour Now Taking Reservations

On the first Saturday in April and October, the New Mexico Museum of Space History hosts a guided motorcoach tour to Trinity Site, where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945.

This April, a new activity has been added the evening before to enhance the experience – a reception on the first floor of the museum with a special presentation by Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll.

Early check-in for pre-registered reception guests begins at 5:30 pm in the lobby of the museum on Friday, April 5, just prior to the reception.

During the reception, guests will enjoy southwest hors d’ouevres and refreshments, followed by a presentation focusing on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo program. “As an added feature, we’ll also bring out several fascinating Apollo-era artifacts from our archives that people rarely have the opportunity to see,” said Orwoll.

Saturday morning, everyone meets in the upper parking lot of the museum at 6:00 am to board the coaches and take the trip to Trinity Site. Local historians accompany guests on the coach, giving an in-depth talk about the bomb and its history, along with unique insight into local history. Once on site, guests enjoy a brown bag lunch, visit to the McDonald House and go on a walking tour of Trinity Site.

On the way back, guests wind down with an onboard movie and upon return to the museum are treated to a guided tour.

Trinity Site is open to the public twice each year, on the first Saturday in April and again on the first Saturday in October. White Sands Missile Range hosts the annual events because this national historic site is on the north end of the normally highly restricted range. Special interpretation at the site is provided by Missile Range staff.

All visitors must have government issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

The roughly 140 mile round trip from Alamogordo to Trinity Site crosses through a large area of White Sands Missile Range. There are no facilities and no stopping along the route once the caravan has left Tularosa, although the museum’s motor coach does have onboard restrooms. Photography is not permitted on White Sands Missile Range, except at Trinity Site and the McDonald House.

Limited advance tickets are on sale now through the museum’s marketing department or online, and include the round trip to Trinity Site, guided tour, brownbag lunch, and guided tour of the museum,. The ticket price is $80 per person, or $70 for museum members.

In addition, the collectible book “Trinity Site: The History of an Atomic Bomb Historic Landmark” by local historian Jim Eckles is available for purchase when guests register online, or the book can be purchased separately at the museum gift shop. To reserve your tickets or for more information, call 575-437-2840 ext. 41132 or visit nmspacemuseum.org.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website or like their facebook page.

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