Critical Mass Reached

The “new” National Atomic Museum, now known as the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, opens its doors to the public Saturday at its new location in Albuquerque, N.M, according to a release by the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are thrilled about the new facility and outdoor space that will once again allow us to share this fascinating history with the world,” said Jim Walther, the museum’s director. (Museum Web Site) For the first time in seven years, historic aircraft, such as an Air Force B-52B bomber, as well as nuclear missiles, and other large artifacts representative of the atomic age will be on display. A B-52 was moved piecemeal in January from Kirtland Air Force Base to the new site. The original museum opened in 1969 on the grounds of Kirtland to serve as a repository and steward of nuclear-related historical items, but the events of 9/11 prompted officials to relocate it initially to rented space in Old Town Albuquerque since increased security on the base meant that foreign visitors could no longer access it.