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‘The Department of Energy, in cooperation with the Department of Defense, declassified a series of historical films on the nuclear weapons program. They were converted to videotape format to help preserve the films and to facilitate the declassification and release process. These films document the history of the development of nuclear weapons, starting with the first bomb tested at Trinity Site in southeastern New Mexico in July 1945.’
Originally a public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Operation Upshot–Knothole was a series of eleven nuclear test shots conducted in 1953 at the Nevada Test Site. It followed Operation Ivy and preceded Operation Castle.
Over 21,000 soldiers took part in the ground exercise Desert Rock V in conjunction with the Grable shot. Grable was a 280mm shell fired from the “Atomic Cannon” and was viewed by a number of high-ranking military officials.
The test series was notable as containing the first time an atomic artillery shell was fired (shot Grable), the first two shots (both fizzles) by University of California Radiation Laboratory—Livermore (now Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and for testing out some of the thermonuclear components that would be used for the massive thermonuclear series of Operation Castle. One primary device (RACER) was tested in thermonuclear system mockup assemblies of TX-14, TX-16, and TX-17/TX-24, to examine and evaluate the behaviour of radiation cases and the compression of the secondary geometries by the primary’s x-rays prior to full-scale testing during Castle. Following RACER’s dodgy performance, the COBRA primary was used in the emergency capability ALARM CLOCK, JUGHEAD, RUNT I, RUNT II thermonuclear devices, as well as in the SHRIMP device. RACER IV (as redesigned and proof-tested in the Simon test) was employed as primary for the ZOMBIE, RAMROD and MORGENSTERN devices…
The Boeing B-50 Superfortress is an American strategic bomber. A post–World War II revision of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, it was fitted with more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engines, stronger structure, a taller tail fin, and other improvements. It was the last piston-engined bomber built by Boeing for the United States Air Force, and was further refined into Boeing’s final such design, the B-54. Not as well known as its direct predecessor, the B-50 was in USAF service for nearly 20 years.
After its primary service with SAC ended, B-50 airframes were modified into aerial tankers for Tactical Air Command (KB-50) and as weather reconnaissance aircraft (WB-50) for the Air Weather Service. Both the tanker and hurricane hunter versions were retired in March 1965 due to metal fatigue and corrosion found in the wreckage of KB-50J, 48-065, which crashed on 14 October 1964…
The Nevada National Security Site (N2S2 or NNSS), previously the Nevada Test Site (NTS), is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the city of Las Vegas. Formerly known as the Nevada Proving Grounds, the site was established on January 11, 1951 for the testing of nuclear devices, covering approximately 1,360 square miles (3,500 km2) of desert and mountainous terrain. Nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site began with a 1-kiloton-of-TNT (4.2 TJ) bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat on January 27, 1951. Many of the iconic images of the nuclear era come from the NTS. NNSS is operated by Mission Support and Test Services, LLC.
During the 1950s, the mushroom clouds, from the 100 atmospheric tests, could be seen from almost 100 mi (160 km) away…