Visitors tour New Mexico atomic site with likely record attendance fueled by ‘Oppenheimer’ fanfare

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Visitors tour New Mexico atomic site with likely record attendance fueled by 'Oppenheimer' fanfare

Scientists and other workers prepare the world’s first atomic bomb to be raised onto a 100-foot tower at the Trinity Test Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The New Mexico site where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated expects thousands of visitors Saturday due to the popularity of the movie “Oppenheimer.” Trinity Site, a National Historic Landmark, is only open to the public twice a year. Credit: AP Photo/File

Visitors lined up Saturday to tour the southern New Mexico site where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated in what officials believe could be a record turnout amid fanfare surrounding Christopher Nolan’s hit film. , “Oppenheimer”.

Thousands of visitors are expected at the Trinity Site, a designated National Historic Landmark that is generally closed to the public due to its proximity to the impact zone of missiles fired at White Sands Missile Range. But twice a year, in April and October, the venue opens to spectators. No support numbers were immediately available as of midnight Saturday. in a In the post, the missile range said vehicles were lined up for more than 2 miles at the site before tours began Saturday.

White Sands Officials warned online that the wait to enter the doors could last up to two hours. No more than 5,000 visitors are expected to pass through the window between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Visitors are also warned to come prepared as the Trinity Site is located in a with limited Wi-Fi and no cell service or bathrooms.

“Oppenheimer,” the remake of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s work and the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, was a summer box office hit. Scientists and They established a secret city at Los Alamos during the 1940s and tested their work at the Trinity Site, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) away.

Visitors tour New Mexico atomic site with likely record attendance fueled by 'Oppenheimer' fanfare

This photo shows an aerial view after the first atomic explosion at the Trinity Test Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. The New Mexico site where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated awaits thousands of visitors on Saturday due to the popularity of the movie “Oppenheimer.” Trinity Site, a National Historic Landmark, is only open to the public twice a year. Credit: AP Photo, file

Part of the film’s success was due to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, in which moviegoers made a double release of the film “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”

Although the tradition surrounding the has become pop culture fodder, it was part of a painful reality for residents living downwind of the Trinity Site. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders plan to protest outside the gates to remind visitors of a side of history they say the movie didn’t acknowledge.

The group says the U.S. government never warned residents about the testing. Soil and water contaminated with radioactive ash. Rates of infant mortality, cancer and other diseases increased. There is Dealing with now, advocates say.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium has worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists and others for years to draw attention to the impact of the Manhattan Project. A new documentary by filmmaker Lois Lipman, “First We Bombed New Mexico,” had its world premiere Friday at the Santa Fe International Film Festival.

“Oppenheimer’s” notoriety has been welcomed in Los Alamos, more than 200 miles (321 kilometers) north of the Tularosa Basin. About 200 locals, many of them employees of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, were extras in the film, and the city hosted an Oppenheimer Festival in July.

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Citation: Visitors tour New Mexico atomic site with likely record attendance fueled by ‘Oppenheimer’ fanfare (October 22, 2023), retrieved October 22, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023- 10-visitors-mexico-atomic-site- fed.html

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