From the New Mexico Museum of Space History
In this historic photo, military personnel are seen moving “Jumbo” to Trinity Site. One of the concerns of the scientists who built the “Gadget” nuclear device that was detonated at Trinity Site in 1945, was that the bomb might not actually go off. In order to preserve the 13 pounds of plutonium in case of failed detonation, an 80 ton steel vessel named “Jumbo” was built with the intention of imploding the device inside. The $12 million dollar vessel was never used for that purpose because by the time the test was nearly ready, scientists were confident that it would work. Instead, “Jumbo” was suspended on a steel tower 800 meters from ground zero. The tower was completely destroyed in the explosion, but “Jumbo” remained very much intact. Later, the military tried to destroy it using eight 500 pound bombs, but only succeeded in blowing the ends off of it. What remains can still be seen at Trinity Site today.
Credit: Photo courtesy atomicheritage.org
Note: Representative image at left is often cropped for display purposes. Downloaded high-resolution images are not cropped.