Sedan Crater

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Sedan Crater
Sedan Plowshare Crater.jpg
The Sedan crater
Sedan Crater is located in Nevada
Sedan Crater
Location Area 10, Nevada Test Site
Nearest city Mercury, Nevada
Coordinates 37°10′36″N 116°2′48″W / 37.17667°N 116.04667°W / 37.17667; -116.04667Coordinates: 37°10′36″N 116°2′48″W / 37.17667°N 116.04667°W / 37.17667; -116.04667
Governing body U.S. Department of Energy
NRHP Reference # 94000183
Added to NRHP March 21, 1994[1]

Sedan Crater is the result of the Sedan nuclear test and is located within the Nevada Test Site, just 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Groom Lake, Nevada (Area 51). The crater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 21, 1994.[1] The crater is a man-made object that can be seen from earth orbit with the unaided eye.[2]

The crater is the result of the displacement of 12,000,000 short tons (11,000,000 t) of earth.[3][4] Over 10,000 visitors per year[4] visit the crater through free monthly tours offered by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office.[5] Its closest Soviet counterpart is the slightly wider Chagan crater which filled in to create Lake Chagan.

History[edit]

The 1,280 by 320 ft (390 by 100 m) crater was created on July 6, 1962 by a 104-kiloton-of-TNT (440 TJ) nuclear explosion.[4] The device was buried 635 feet (194 m) below the desert floor in Area 10 of Yucca Flat and was the largest cratering shot in the Plowshare Program. The explosion created fallout that affected more US residents than any other nuclear test, exposing more than 13 million people to radiation and marked the end of the program.[6]

Within 7 months of the excavation, the bottom of the crater could be safely walked upon with no protective clothing and photographs were taken.[7]

Use in the Apollo Program

Because the craters at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) have features similar to the topography of Moon craters all of the 12 American Astronauts who have walked on the moon trained at the Nevada Test Site before their missions.[8]

Environmental Recovery

Russian thistle, also known as tumbleweed, is the primary plant species along with some grasses. Analysis in 1993 observed that the original perennial shrubs once living there had shown no recovery.[9] Satellite imagery such as that available in Google Earth, however, shows considerable growth on the ejecta blanket outside the crater rim.

Crater statistics[edit]

Maximum depth[4] 320 feet 100 meters
Maximum diameter[4] 1280 feet 390 meters
Volume[10] 6.6 million cubic yards 5 million cubic meters
Weight of material lifted[4] 12 million short tons 10 million tons
Maximum lip height[10] 100 feet 30 meters
minimum lip height[10] 20 feet 6 meters
Observation deck at Sedan Crater

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Furlow, Robert C. (October 5, 1993). "Sedan Crater". National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Photos — Underground Nuclear Testing — Nevada Test Site". Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Sedan Crater". KNPB. Archived from the original on 2008-07-15. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Nevada Test Site Tours". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  5. ^ Nevada Test Site Office (May 8, 2008). "Nevada Test Site Tours". National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  6. ^ All Around Nevada with a 360 image
  7. ^ "Possibilities for peaceful nuclear explosions. An IAEA review of the 1968 book: The constructive uses of nuclear explosions by Edward Teller.". 
  8. ^ Henry Brean (July 19, 2009). "Nevada Test Site gave astronaut trainees taste of lunar landscape". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 
  9. ^ Sedan Crater at Nevada Online
  10. ^ a b c Project Sedan, On-Site Radiological Safety Report

External links[edit]