By Jenn Jett, Museum Specialist
The WSMR Museum has been hard at work generating content to continue to flesh out our new website. Much of this content comes in the form of articles and informational pieces as well as digitized footage from our archives. Here is a summary of our most recent content updates:
“Life at Los Alamos”
by Darren Court, Museum Director/Curator
In November, 1942, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and Colonel John Dudley visited Jemez Springs, near the Valles Caldera – a large volcanic crater and field in northwest New Mexico. Having considered other locations for the creation of a laboratory, the group found themselves in this remote part of New Mexico in pursuit of a location to bring together the various scattered groups who had been working on “problems” relating to the potential creation of a nuclear bomb.
This episode of Wide Wide World is from 1957, one year before White Sands Proving Ground was renamed White Sands Missile Range. This video contains footage of different missile tests including Nike Ajax, Honest John, and Little John, to name a few. Also featured is an interview with America’s leading rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, former director of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket program during World War II.
This video showcases the history of the Manhattan Project and its scientific director, Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer, a philosophic pacifist and unlikely leader in the development of the world’s first atomic bomb.
“White Sands Missile Range Historical V-2 Footage”
This footage shows a number of launches, failed and successful, as well as launch prep operations, such as transportation and fueling, and post-launch recovery operations.
“News Report: Army ATACMS Test Firing”
This video contains a Texas News 5 “5:00 Report” on the testing of the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System on White Sands Missile Range and the uncertainty that a possible troop draw down might affect the Army-wide fielding of the missile system.
“Columbia Landing at WSMR, 1982”
The Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-3, landed on White Sands Space Harbor Runway 17 at 9:05 am on Tuesday, 30 March 1982. A public viewing site had been set up about 7 miles northwest of the landing strip, where an estimated 7000 spectators had accumulated on Monday when the storm occurred. Some 4000 returned the next day for the landing. Another 90,000 spectators later saw later saw the shuttle at Northrup Strip during its preparation for the return to Kennedy Space Center.
“Preserving Our Pioneering Past: The White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation”
This brief video introduces the White Sands Missile Range Museum and White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation. The Foundation was organized to support the museum and to raise money for a permanent museum to collect and exhibit the artifacts necessary to memorialize the events, and the participants, both individual and organizational who have contributed to the outstanding achievements at White Sands Missile Range.
“History of the Atom Bomb: Pre-World War II Exodus of German Scientists to the USA”
This early documentary traces the paths of German scientists, giants in the realm of physics and the other sciences, who fled their homeland after the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Known to the World War II Allies as the Vengeance 2 (V-2), this post-war documentary by the British War Office details the operation that focused on the acquisition and testing of V-2 rockets, as well as the recruitment of the technicians and scientists who brought Hitler’s dream of a terrifying vengeance weapon to life.
“Border Region Archives Group Virtual Bazaar 2020“
The Border Regional Archive’s Group (BRAG) held their annual Archives Bazaar on Thursday, 29 October 2020 from 1100 to 1615. Due to the ongoing Covid situation, the bazaar was held in a virtual setting as a Zoom meeting and Facebook live stream.