Western Trips

Western Trips

Friday, October 25, 2013

Visit a Rocket Museum in New Mexico

If you want to view a large variety of military rockets the National Nuclear Museum of Science and History is the place to visit.  It's a museum of everything nuclear from the birth of nuclear science to the future.

navy terrier missile
Navy Terrier surface to air missile
A visit to this fascinating both indoor and outdoor museum allows you to view planes, missiles, rockets and more plus a German V-2 Rocket from World War Two. Add to this a tail from the former U.S. nuclear submarine James K. Polk. The outdoor area of the museum occupies five acres.

The National Nuclear Museum of Science and History was originally chartered by Congress in 1969. It was first known as the National Atomic Museum prior to it's name change and was located at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque New Mexico before it's move to the current location a short distance north of the base.

Redstone Missile 

The Redstone Missile was developed in 1951 and was intended to be a surface to surface mobile rocket. The Redstone represented the United States' first large rocket and was produced by the Chrysler Corporation. It was liquid fueled burning alcohol and liquid oxygen. The rocket's first test launch occurred in 1953 at Cape Canaveral Florida. More test launches followed over several years and the Redstone was deployed in West Germany in 1958. 

redstone missile
Redstone Missile exhibit in Albuquerque
A good deal of the technology for building the Redstone was acquired by the U.S. after World War Two when they collected German rockets and the knowledge of German scientists. In fact, rockets made by the U.S. immediately after the war were based largely on German V-2 technology

The Redstone Rocket was mainly developed by German scientists including Werner von Braun

The U.S. found itself in a race against the Soviet Union who also wanted to collect as much German rocket technology as possible. The German missile experts that the U.S. could recruit were brought to Huntsville Alabama.

Jupiter Missile 

The Jupiter Missile similar to the one shown in this article was first deployed by the U.S. in Turkey in 1960 during the Cold War. These type missiles would also be deployed in Great Britain and Italy. The missile was designed by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and succeeded the Redstone Missile. The first operational squadron for the Jupiter was created in 1958. 

jupiter missile
Jupiter Missile exhibit
The rocket was a single stage and liquid fueled built by the Chrysler Corporation. The rocket was stored vertically and could be fired with about fifteen minutes notice and had a range of about 1,500 nautical miles. 

Jupiter Missiles came close to helping NASA with their Mercury space program. Eventually the Mercury-Jupiter program was dropped in favor of the Mercury-Redstone and Mercury-Atlas programs. Later on the Jupiter Missile did participate in NASA's Apollo space program

The Titan II ICBM 

First activated in 1962, the entire purpose of the Titan II ICBM program was to act as a deterrence. The missile's goal was to prevent a war not start one. The Titan II was designed with a warhead that could travel over 5,500 miles and with accuracy. It was a two stage liquid propelled rocket. The rocket's second stage carried a flight control and inertial guidance system. Dimensions included a length of 103 feet and a diameter of 120 inches. At launch the rocket weighed 327,000 lbs. The Titan II was the largest ICBM built by the United States.

titan II missile
Stage of Titan II Missile exhibit
As decades passed and treaties were entered into, the Titan II missile program was deactivated during the 1980's. 

The Western Trips photo article on the link below features a few additional exhibits at the museum.

The Nuclear Museum

Visiting the National Nuclear Museum of Science and History

The National Nuclear Museum of Science and History is located in southeast Albuquerque New Mexico at 601 Eubank Avenue SE. The museum is located south of Exit 165 on Interstate 40.This quite unique museum is a fun and educational venue for the entire family. There's a great many things to discover at the National Nuclear Museum of Science and History.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 Western Trips)


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