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Trinity Site to be open April 4

ALAMOGORDO – Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was tested, will be open to the public twice in 2015, with the next Trinity Site Open House scheduled for April 4 and the second open house on Oct. 3.

“As stewards of this significant historical site we want to ensure the public continues to have access to Trinity Site so that we can continue to share this story with future generations,” said Erin Dorrance, White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Officer.

WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin assisted in getting the site opened twice a year.

“Trinity Site is a national historic testing landmark where the theories and engineering of some of the nation’s brightest minds were tested with the detonation of the first nuclear bomb, technologies which helped end World War II,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin. “It is important for us to share Trinity with the public even though the site is located inside a very active military test range. We have travelers from as far away as Australia who travel to visit this historic landmark. Facilitating access twice per year allows more people the chance to visit this historic site.”

Trinity Site is where the world’s first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time on July 16, 1945.

It sits within the confines of White Sands Missile Range, an Army installation whose primary mission is testing of weapons for the Department of Defense. The missile range covers 3,200 square miles of land.

The access to the Trinity site is free on the two designated dates.

At the site, visitors can take a quarter-mile walk to ground zero where a small obelisk marks the exact spot where the bomb exploded. Historical photos are mounted on the fence surrounding the area.

Once at the site, visitors also can ride a missile range shuttle bus two miles to the Schmidt/McDonald ranch house. The ranch house is where the scientists assembled the plutonium core of the bomb.

The simplest way to get to Trinity Site is to enter White Sands Missile Range through its Stallion Range Center gate, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 4.

Stallion gate is five miles south of U.S. Highway 380. The turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio, N.M. and 53 miles west of Carrizozo.

Visitors arriving at the gate between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. will receive handouts and will be allowed to drive unescorted the 17 miles to the Trinity Site. The road is paved and marked. The site closes promptly at 3:30 p.m.

The other way of attending the open house is to drive with the Alamogordo caravan.

The Alamogordo caravan forms at the Tularosa High School football field parking lot and leaves at 8 a.m. It is a 75-mile drive to the site from Tularosa. There are no gasoline service stations on the route or at the site. The caravan will be led by military police upon entry of the Missile Range. It is scheduled to leave for the return trip between 12:30 and 1 p.m.

Visitors will need to be prepared. All adults must show a photo ID. Vehicles are subject to search and drivers should be carrying proof of insurance and current registration papers.

There will be no ceremonies or speakers, but food and souvenirs are available.

For more information, call the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office at 678-1134.

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