How Nuclear Tests were conducted

Tower Shot

Atomic Tower for Nuclear Testing

Plumbob Shot Tower - 1957
Shot Smoky - August 31, 1957

The Smoky shot tower soars 700 feet into the air above Yucca Flat. The first atomic test tower of this height, the structure may well be the tallest steel tower of its type.

The tower was designed by Holmes & Narver, inc.

Balloon Suspension

balloon suspension nuclear test

Plumbbob Shot Balloon - 1957

Cab attached, a shot balloon begins ascent during a test run at the Nevada Test Site.

Inflation is accomplished by inserting a metal probe with thousands of holes into a plastic filler tube attached at the bottom of the big balloon.

  • Plumbbob (1957) - 13 Balloons
  • Hardtack (1958) - Yucca
  • Hardtack II (1958) - 11 Balloons

Exploded Under the Ocean

underwater nuclear test

Operation Hardtack
Shot Umbrella (June 8, 1958)

Yield: 8 Kilotons
Location: Enewetak Atoll

  • Crossroads (1946) - 1 underwater
  • Wigwam (1955) - 1 underwater
  • Hardtack (1958) - 2 underwater
  • Dominic (1962) - 1 underwater

Detonated in Outer Space (High Altitude Detonations)

High Altitude Nuclear Test

Operation Hardtack
Shot Orange (August 12, 1958)

Yield 3.8 Megatons
Location of launch: Johnston Island

  • Hardtack (1958) - 2 space detonations
  • Argus (1958) - 3 space detonations
  • Dominic (1962) - 5 space detonations

Air to Air Missile Test

air to air nuclear missile tests

Operation Plumbob
Shot John (July 19, 1957)

Yield: About 2 Kilotons
Location of launch: Nevada Test Site

A Live nuclear rocket accelerates past the launching F-89 Scorpion. Once launched, the Scorpion banks at about 70 degrees to evade the forthcoming nuclea explosion.

The rocket project was begun in early 1954 and code named "Genie" by the Air Research and Development Command.