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  • Writer's pictureBrian Childress

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History - Albuquerque, New Mexico

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (formerly named National Atomic Museum) is a national repository of nuclear science information chartered by the 102nd United States Congress under Public Law 102-190, and located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The mission of the National Atomic Museum is to serve as America's resource for nuclear history and science. The Museum presents exhibits and quality educational programs that convey the diversity of individuals and events that shape the historical and technical context of the nuclear age.

The Museum was originally sited in 1969 on the grounds of Kirtland Air Force Base in an old 90 mm anti-aircraft gun repair facility, and named "Sandia Atomic Museum". The new Museum opened on April 4, 2009 in its new location under the new name National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.


We spoke with Museum Volunteer “Don“ who is a 20-year veteran and Retired Officer for the US Air Force. Don’s career included working with the Air Force Thunderbirds and ensuring funding was provided for weapons systems to ensure defense of the United States. Don continues to serve by volunteering with the museum and he was a joy to speak with.

Our experience:

This is a great place to visit if you are in New Mexico. To fully understand the history of the development of atomic and nuclear weapons, we recommend you visit four locations: The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, the Town of Los Alamos where the atomic bomb labs once were located, Oak Ridge Tennessee where uranium and plutonium were derived, and the Trinity Site in White Sands New Mexico where the first atomic bomb was tested.

Contact information:

601 Eubank Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123

Phone: (505) 245-2137

Periodic Table on floor of the museum entrance.

Albert Einstein warning letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt regarding the atomic bomb.

What the labs looked like at Los Alamos when developing the atomic bomb.

Vintage 1930-40s radio

Overview of the Oakridge Complex in the 1940s

Model of loading system for the first atomic bomb “Fat Man”

Loading system for second atomic bomb “Little Boy”

Military Limousine used by Manhattan Project Director General Leslie Groves and Lead Scientist Robert Oppenheimer.

Items stored in 1950s family fall-out shelters.

Launch Control Systems

This aircraft was the type which delivered the two atomic bombs against Japan.

Trinity Site Tower which dropped the “Gadget” to test the atomic bomb and entered the world in the nuclear age.

Volunteer Guides who are very knowlegeable of the history of nuclear science.

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