White Sands Missile Range will have their open house this spring, one of only two that happen every year.

For only two days a year, the New Mexico military facility that was once home to a secret weapons project opens to the public. The Army's White Sands Missile Range is where the very first atom bomb was tested more than 71 years ago.

On July 16, 1945 at 5:29 a.m., scientists tested the first atom bomb for the research and development program known as the Manhattan Project. The exact place is known as the Trinity site. A month later, an atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and then later on Nagasaki. These bombs forced the Japanese to surrender and end World War II.

The Army's White Sands Missile Range opens the Trinity site to the public only twice a year, once in April and again in October.

On April 1st, people will be able to go to the Trinity site, located in the northern part of White Sands. The army shuts down some of the operations at the still active test facility so the public can have a chance to see where an important moment in history happened. Visitors are able to see the exact location where the bomb exploded, as well as the McDonald ranch house. The McDonald house has been restored to look exactly like it did back in the 1940's when the plutonium core was being assembled there.

 According to the Army Times website,

  • Entrance is free and no reservations are necessary
  • Visitors going to the Trinity site need to enter through the Stallion Gate
  • The Stallion Gate is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the site closes at 3:30 p.m. No escort is necessary during the one house
  • Please bring a military ID or valid Driver's License and proof of insurance to gain access to the site
  • please make sure to fill up before arrival, there are no gas stations near the site.
  • No drones, remote controlled vehicles or satellite networking systems are allowed on the site
  • Leashed pets are welcome on the base, just make sure to bring poop bags and do not leave them unattended in the car
  • There will be concessions and souvenirs sold in the parking lot for visitors to buy from
  • Radiation levels at the site are low or according to the Army website a one hour visit to ground zero has “a whole body exposure of one-half to one millirem."

For more information, go to White Sands' Trinity Site web page or call (575) 678-1134.

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