NM Part 3

OK…I promise…the final post about my trip to NM…

White Sands Missile Range

RY standing by a Redstone Rocket

That’s me standing by a huge Redstone Rocket at the White Sands Missile Range.

Originally called White Sands Proving Grounds, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is actually the largest military installation in the U.S. (3200 sq. miles).  WSMR’s remote base of operation is located in the southern NM plains, 27 miles north of Las Cruces. I have seen this Army base off in the distance many times over the years, but was finally able to make a trip over after hearing that they had a museum open to the public…

The Army base out in the middle of nowhere…

Army Base at WSMR

Right before the turn off to the base…

Army WSMR

What I didn’t realize was the sheer amount of incredible scientific historic achievements that have been made out in this remote area. WSMR is steeped in history and is the birthplace of America’s rocket, missile, nuclear, and space programs. Werner Von Braun tested America’s first rockets out here! I’ve been a NASA & space exploration history buff for a long time…so this kind of stuff fascinates me!

After passing through a polite, yet very thorough security screening…we were able to drive a short ways to the museum only…

[Click to Enlarge]

WSMR Museum

AIAA

Inside the museum I was greeted by…wtf…Darth Vader???

Vader

Apparently Ben Burtt came out to WSMR to record a bunch of sound effects for a little movie called…Star Wars.

Burtt gave the military base a Vader helmet from the SW production as a thank you gift.

…Sweet Star Wars history bonus: +1

Ben Burtt info

I found it very interesting that the Japanese conduct a lot of testing at the range. Here are two Daruma dolls that some had brought for good luck on their project. When you receive a Daruma…only one eye is colored in. After your wish or desire is fulfilled…the other eye is then filled in. I guess they got their wish…

Daruma

One Japanese team even gave a suit of awesome Samurai armor as a gift!…

WSMR Samurai!

The space shuttle Columbia landed at WSMR after a mission…I though this was funny…

Sign

shuttle model

Ok…to diffuse the bomb…all you have to do is disconnect the blue wire from the yellow wire…

Wiring Nightmare

Von Braun’s V-2 Rocket…

V-2 Rocket

Some crazy tech experiments going on out here!…

A tight landing area!

There was a TON of cool and fascinating stuff inside this museum… from the local Native American history, the first atomic tests, the Space shuttle Columbia’s landing at the base, the space program achievements, and quite a bit about rocket tech and history. I learned a lot and would visit again in a second. This is a toy site though so I’ll move on a bit…

Outside the museum…a lot missiles and rockets…

The 'Missile Garden'...

The Patriot Missile Launcher…

If it flies...

Patriot

Some pretty Sci-Fi looking stuff out here…

what is it???

I just dont know???

…And of course this little tourist had to get in a couple of shots…

???

Going for a ride???

Thanks for looking…and now we return to our regular scheduled programing…;)


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One Response to “NM Part 3”

  1. Love the pix, especially the tourist shot! Thanks for sharing!

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