[aprssig] OT APRS: A Date in History...

aa3jy at winlink.org aa3jy at winlink.org
Sat Jul 16 09:12:07 CDT 2005

At 5:29:45 (Mountain War Time) on July 16, 1945, in a white blaze that stretched 
from the basin of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico to the still-dark 
skies, "The Gadget" ushered in the Atomic Age. The light of the 
explosion then turned orange as the atomic fireball began shooting upwards at 
360 feet per second, reddening and pulsing as it cooled. The characteristic 
mushroom cloud of radioactive vapor materialized at 30,000 feet. Beneath the 
cloud, all that remained of the soil at the blast site were fragments of jade 
green radioactive glass created by the heat of the reaction.

The brilliant light from the detonation pierced the early morning skies with 
such intensity that residents from a faraway neighboring community would swear 
that the sun came up twice that day. Even more astonishing is that a blind girl 
saw the flash 120 miles away.

Upon witnessing the explosion, its creators had mixed reactions. Isidor Rabi 
felt that the equilibrium in nature had been upset -- as if humankind had become 
a threat to the world it inhabited. J. Robert Oppenheimer, though ecstatic about 
the success of the project, quoted a remembered fragment from the Bhagavad Gita. 
"I am become Death," he said, "the destroyer of worlds." Ken 
Bainbridge, the test director, told Oppenheimer, "Now we're all sons of 

Clay AA3JY

(Former Minuteman Missile Combat Crew Commander @ F01 Mud Butte, SD.)

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