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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
White Sands in Dona Ana County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

White Sands Missile Range

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronatics Historic Aerospace Site

 
 
White Sands Missile Range Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
1. White Sands Missile Range Marker
Inscription. White Sands Proving Ground, as it was first called, is home to America’s first large-scale rocket and missile launch facilities. Established in 1945, the launching here of 67 V-2 rockets and many other vehicles propelled the United States into the Space Age. Scientists and military researchers learned to handle large rockets and improved the emerging technology. Vital experiments to learn about the nature of the upper atmosphere and the fringes of outer space were conducted here. Tests here also include those of the first air defense missile system, the Nike Ajax, and the first U.S. ballistic missile, the Corporal.
 
Erected 2005.
 
Location. 32° 23.124′ N, 106° 28.698′ W. Marker is in White Sands, New Mexico, in Dona Ana County. Marker is on State Road 213. Touch for map. The marker and various missiles shown are located on the grounds of the White Sands Missile Range Museum. Marker is in this post office area: White Sands Missile Range NM 88002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nike Hercules Missile (approx. 5.7 miles away); San Augustín Pass (approx. 5.8 miles away); Site of San Agustín Springs
White Sands Missile Range image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
2. White Sands Missile Range
(approx. 7 miles away); Disappearance of Albert J. Fountain and his son Henry (approx. 10.9 miles away).
 
Categories. Air & Space
 
White Sands Missile Range image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
3. White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
4. White Sands Missile Range
Redstone Missile image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
5. Redstone Missile
Designed by Dr. Werner Von Braun and developed at Redstone Arsenal this was once the Army's largest surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It could deliver a nuclear warhead to targets 200 miles away. The Redstone was used as the first stage of the Jupiter C which successfully orbed America's first satellite. Redstone boosters were also used by NASA to send Alan Shepard into space in 1961.
Hound Dog Missile image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
6. Hound Dog Missile
A forerunner to the cruise missile, this jet propelled, supersonic missile was launched from a B-52 bomber and then flew to its target carrying a nuclear warhead. Test flights were conducted between White Sands and Utah
Aeroshell "Flying Saucer" image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
7. Aeroshell "Flying Saucer"
This spacecraft was a section of the Voyager Balloon System which was launched near Roswell, NM and landed on White Sands Missile Range. These bright, shiny aeroshells projected an illusion of flying saucers. Aeroshell was designed for slowing down a missile for landing on Mars. This display is believed to be the only one "in captivity".
Lance Missile image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
8. Lance Missile
A surface-to-surface missile capable of carrying either a nuclear or conventional warhead. The Lance was the first Army missile to use prepackaged storable liquid propellant. It had a self-propelled launcher and could operate in all types of weather.
MK 39 5in/54 Gun image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
9. MK 39 5in/54 Gun
Originally installed on the U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB-42 in 1945. This 5 inch gun, weighing over 73,000 lbs. was relocated to the LLS-Desert Ship at White Sands Missile Range in 1977. With this gun, the Navy at White Sands became an integral part of the testing that took place with Rocket Propelled Projectiles. To ensure that the gun was still operational warmer rounds were last fired from its barrel back in 1996.
Fat Man Bomb Casing image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
10. Fat Man Bomb Casing
The casing on this display was assembled after WWII, and it is considered the prototype for the original MK III. The original atomic bomb was tested at Trinity Site on July 16, 1945 without a casing. The 5,000 pound bomb was placed atop a 100-foot tower to simulate an aerial blast and reduce the amount of radioactive dust spewed into the air. It was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945.
Patriot Missile image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
11. Patriot Missile
The replacement for Nike Hercules and improved Hawk, the Patriot was designed to defend against high performance air-breathing targets. The system could simultaneously acquire, identify, track, and destroy multiple targets. In the early 90's it was successfully modified to intercept tactical ballistic missiles. Each launcher can carry four missiles which are protected in their shipping containers. The missiles are launched out of their containers.
Preparing for the first launch of a V-2 rocket image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
12. Preparing for the first launch of a V-2 rocket
The first successful launch was at White Sands Proving Ground, May 10, 1946. Note the dignitaries being photographed in the foreground. British Field Marshall Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, Admiral Dewitt C. Ramsey, Vice Chief, Naval Ordinance, Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, Commanding Officer White Sands Proving Grounds, and General Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding Officer, Sixth Army. This photo is located inside the museum.
President John F. Kennedy Visits White Sands Missile Range image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 9, 2008
13. President John F. Kennedy Visits White Sands Missile Range
The visit was on 5 June 1963. The photo was inside the museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 30, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 561 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on January 30, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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