On April 1, 2017 the gates of the Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29 AM Mountain War Time on July 16, 1945, will swing open. This active test facility opens to the public just twice-a-year to allow civilians to observe the location where test officers for the Manhattan Project finalized and tested the first atomic bomb.
Visitors can witness ground zero, where the first bomb was placed to test the world’s first atomic explosion. The iconic McDonald ranch house where the plutonium core of the bomb was assembled can also be visited. The home has been restored to the way it looked when the test was conducted through the use of archived historical photos. Various photos and information plaques have been placed around the site to inform visitors of the site’s historical significance.
Citizens visiting the site will have an experience that is much more pleasant than those that were on site the day of the test. Ralph Smith, a lawyer visiting from Los Alamos, New Mexico wrote about his experience.
“Suddenly, my right eye was blinded by a light which appeared instantaneously all about without any build up of intensity. My left eye could see the ball of fire start up like a tremendous bubble or nob-like mushroom,” he said.
The site will only be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m local time. Admission is free and there are even food vendors that will be waiting in the parking lot to feed the hordes of history-obsessed civilians visiting the Trinity site. Officials from the Trinity site assure visitors that radiation levels are low. A one hour visit to the site will expose you to about as much radiation as a coast to coast commercial flight.
At the end of the day, the facility will be closed to the public again until October.