Due to flight timing I had Friday, after Autodesk University, in Vegas. After the best part of a week Casino living and ‘The Strip’ it was time for a change. On the way to the US I heard a “The Skeptics Guide to the Universe” podcast which mentioned “The National Atomic Testing Museum”, and decided to check that out. It is about 3km off the Strip and I decided to walk, fresh air and natural light was a nice change after spending most of the week inside.
Back of ‘The Sands’ exhibition space where AU is held.
The Howard Hughes business park.
My GPS suggested the red route, but after turning the corner to the road marked with an X (below) I found it was home for a large vagrant population, tents and all. Thought unwise so backtracked and took the longer main road green route…
Homeless behind the green fences.
The The National Atomic Testing Museum was larger than I expected, but didn’t appear to be particularly busy. It documents the testing done on the Nevada Test Site (near Las Vegas), atomic ‘culture’ and the cold war. Seems entirely bizarre that people could see the glow of test blasts from the casinos on the strip.
Consumer goods were part of the ‘atomic age’
A bomb and atomic survival guide.
There’s lots of info, personal stories and official, on how soldiers and civilians were exposed to atomic testing. The “Ground Zero Theater” lets you experience a simulation of an above-ground test from the distance they used to monitor them.
A handy guide to building an atomic survival bunker should you need one.
The reason you might need it…
It wouldn’t be Vegas without a mention of Area 51. There is a separate exhibit about that but no secrets revealed other than the amount of merchandising it has generated!
After this I read Eric Schlosser’s Command & Control about how close, through accident or neglect, we came to atomic antihalation.