The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History was established in 1969 as an intriguing place to learn the story of the Atomic Age, from early research of nuclear development through today’s peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Visitors can explore how nuclear science continues to influence our world. The museum strives to present, through permanent and changing exhibits and displays, the diverse applications of nuclear science in the past, present and future along with the stories of the field’s pioneers.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is accredited through the American Alliance of Museums.
The creation of the Museum in 1969 was the result of a six-year effort to establish a museum to tell the story of the base and the development of nuclear weapons. The Museum was located on Kirtland Air Force Base. In 1973, the museum name was changed to National Atomic Museum to reflect the growing national and international audience and the fact that it was the only public museum that preserved the history of the nuclear industry. The Museum closed its doors at the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico on September 11, 2001, due to heightened security measures at the Base. The National Atomic Museum was in its rented Old Town location from May 11, 2002 to February 7, 2009; the Museum re-opened in its current location in southeast Albuquerque in April 2009, when it was renamed The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.
The Museum’s mission is “to serve as America’s resource for nuclear history and science. The Museum presents exhibits and quality educational programs that convey the diversity of individuals and events that shape the historical and technical context of the nuclear age.”
With an agreement signed on June 24, 2019, the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History forged a new partnership to preserve the history of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age. This significant agreement ensures the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s extensive collection of oral histories (Voices of the Manhattan Project), interpretive vignettes (Ranger in Your Pocket), and articles about the Manhattan Project and its legacy will remain available to the public for the foreseeable future.
One of the most talked-about events of the Cold War was the downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960. The event was depicted in the Steven Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies, showing how Powers was captured by the KGB, subjected to a televised show trial, and imprisoned, all of which created an international incident. Join the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History to meet with Francis Gary Powers, Jr., author of the book "Spy Pilot" and son of the U-2 spy pilot to view a special showing of Bridge of Spies at the museum.Learn More
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host "Science is Everywhere" Winter Day Camp 2019 for children who Pre-K through 7th grade. Experience the wonders of science in one-day sessions, December 23, 26, 27, 30 and January 2,3. Sessions include "Prankenstein" "Rocket Science," "Robots are Everywhere" "Electrifying" and many more!Learn More
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is pleased to offer single-day themed camps for the Winter Break, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Presidents Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day camp is geared to campers in grades 1-3 and grades 4-7, and this camp is "Things that Go Boom!" Everyone loves a good explosion. Witness big booms and make little ones. Using chemistry and physics you will learn about what makes it go boom. Come have a blast!Learn More