Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
April 8, 2009
It’s official: the National Atomic Museum has moved and changed its name to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.
This is actually a homecoming of sorts for the museum, which began as the Sandia Base Weapons Museum at Kirtland Air Force Base on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico. After September 11, 2001, the base became off-limits and the museum moved into downtown Albuquerque, where its outdoor nuclear missile caused some consternation within the artsy neighborhood. Now the museum has moved back to Kirtland — but to a new, 12-acre compound, at the very edge of the base. This means that everyone can visit, and that the museum once again has room to display over-sized mementos like its B-52 bomber, its atomic torpedo, and its atomic cannon.
The museum’s name change conveys its attempt to branch into areas beyond bombs (The same thing happened in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, when the American Museum of Atomic Energy became the American Museum of Science and Energy). We’re sad to see the old name go, but we note with some satisfaction that the name emblazoned above the museum entrance reads The National Museum of NUCLEAR Science and History, leaving no doubt that this is still a fission-fueled attraction.
National Museum of Nuclear Science and History
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