The National Atomic Museum is a large gallery of artifacts and informational displays about the nation's nuclear weapons development program. The museum is operated by Sandia National Laboratory, and is located on the grounds of Kirtland Air Force Base. On display at the Museum are numerous nuclear weapons casings, including the casings of Fat Man and Little Boy, the types of bombs used on Japan in World War II. Also on display is the casing of a Mk. 17 hydrogen bomb, the same type that fell out of a B-36 bomber on its descent into Kirtland Air Force Base in 1957. Static displays on the history of the development of nuclear technologies, and a regular screening of the film "The Ten Seconds that Shook the World" are additional features of the museum. In the lot outside is a nuclear cannon, and several aircraft, including a B-29 and a B-52. The library at the museum houses a collection of books on nuclear and military technologies. There is also a museum store that sells scientific models and toys, and an unusual collection of out-of-print books for sale. Unusual artifacts such as parts from missiles and Cray supercomputers are also sometimes available at the store.The museum was founded by the Defense Nuclear Agency in 1969, and was congressionally chartered as the nations "official" Atomic Museum in 1991. Sandia Lab took over management of the museum from the Department of Energy in 1996.
Category: Museums - History