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“It was the Bomb”

The National Atomic Testing Museum
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Big Bus Las Vegas Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #57 of 456 things to do in Las Vegas
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This museum is devoted to the Nevada Test Site.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“It was the Bomb”
Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

A lot to see and do at your own pace. A lot of very interesting and quality exhibits! Well worth the trip

Visited August 2014
Thank Sandy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very interesting exhibits, tough for 11 year olds”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I was in Las Vegas for an AAU basketball tournament weekend of July 25 - 27. In between our games we had about 4 hours so i took my son and 2 of his friends who were around 11 years old to visit the museum. We visited both the Area 51 and Atomic Testing exhibits and I found them very interesting and well worth the visit. We bought the tickets through groupon as well which was a very good deal. The boys were checking out the exhibits as well, but I could tell it was a little difficult for them to appreciate it the same. I did try to explain things to them and the videos they had were pretty informative.

The only complaint was the theater where the Atomic simulation occurred. I was expecting a little more of a visual and physical experience. It didn't have a large amount of sound or heat that I thought would have made the experience more fun.

Visited July 2014
Thank Asheen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
259 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

There is some great history here and much to learn. D. efinitely see all of the movies that are available and pay special attention to the oil paintings that are a scary hoot from the past

Visited August 2014
Thank innerbum1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Worth, Florida
Level Contributor
396 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“We liked it, our friends loved it”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Our friends, both history and alien buffs absolutely loved this place and spent close to three hours here. The exhibits were nicely done, and somewhat interesting to us, but we were througth it in about an hour. My only criticism is that many of the exhibits in the Area 51 portion of the exhibit require a headset, and you have to wait your turn as each video has only a single headset. There were about six such audio/video exhibits and a technology update would be a good investment.
My wife and I especially liked the small theatre in the atomic testing section in which a multi-media presentation put you within viewing range of an A-bomb test in the Nevada desert.
In summary... interesting place, worth a visit... especially if you have prior interest.

Visited July 2014
Thank MMMarty2ya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“My wife and I visited in early July 2014”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

My wife and I were staying with my oldest daughter and son-law to see our first grandchild.

I am a Viet Nam vet who served as a Radarman in the US Navy in the 60's and on three Naval Destroyers, one of which was equipped with the older Asroc (Anti - Submarine Rocket system). USS William M. Wood DD-715

It triggered memories for me.

Among other duties, 60's Navy Radarman stood radar watches 24 hrs. a day at sea, (rotating off for meals, movies, showers, and sleep) tracked submarine contacts, and were responsible to "take out" Russian ballistic missile submarines (boomers) in the event the Russians decided to launch nuclear missiles against the Eastern Coast of the US.

There was a lot of coordinating with fellow destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers AND planes and helicopters; and foreign navies; VERY sophisticated. We were constantly plotting submarine locations in exercises.

Almost every destroyer dragged a sonar buoy that listened, the bow would or could "ping" , helicopters dropped different versions of detection devices, and dipped others from a winch.

Some things pinged actively. Some listened. And some were capable of detecting a submarine's metal hull.

What many Americans don't know, is even though we were "good" in antisubmarine warfare back then, that even the Mark 48 torpedo, as good as it was, could still EASILY miss a fast moving, maneuvering target, so a back up weapon was developed.

Essentially it was a small nuclear depth charge that was fastened to the head of the Asroc rocket.

In the case of war, or imminent attack, under the order of the President of the United States of America, it could be ordered launched to prevent a Russian ballistic fleet missile submarine from launching multiple intercontinental nuclear weapons against New York, Washington, Atlanta, Ga, etc. You launched Asroc based on the location information I just described, and a sophisticated launch / permission sequence and then the missile warhead (or torpedo) came down by parachute and gently sank say roughly 600 feet in an aimed area, and went off.

I know a more than little about the use of nuclear weapons (which are not on naval ships 100% of the time) So I was especially interested in learning more. I had an interesting time explaining a bunch of things with people who know nothing about this and a museum guide who spent a career working with this stuff as his profession.

But back to antisubmarine warfare. The point was, if launched, it would crack the hull of the submarine in two pieces, (which is not conducive to longevity at 600 ft. under water), or incinerate it, if it landed "on" the submarine. Think of an atomic steam kettle on steroids !

One minor problem: what if the order was given to "take the sub out" and sonar indicates he is 3/4 - 1 mile off your port or starboard bow ? Answer: You obey the president of the United States. You go in hard at 36 knots, tracking all the way, you turn 180 degrees, heading AWAY from him at 36 knots, simultaneously launching Asroc, and you say your prayers, because the same blast that takes out the Russian, is 97% certain to split your own hull (or obliterates you), too ! Destroyer would completely sink in under 2 minutes.

This Atomic testing is for a purpose. We knew back then that Asroc would work because they had been tested in Nevada or the Pacific first !

Visited July 2014
3 Thank Galen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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