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White Sands Missile Range
Military testing area in New Mexico, US
White Sands Missile Range (1960) New Mexico Joint Guided Missile Test Range (1947) White Sands Proving Ground (1945)
Most of the northern Tularosa basin (blue) is used for the WSMR (area within dashed perimeter), which encloses numerous areas that are not military land (e.g., the NPS'sWhite Sands National Park), as well as USAF facilities.
White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is a military testing area operated by the United States Army. The range was originally established as the White Sands Proving Ground on July 9, 1945. White Sands National Park is located within the range.
The first atomic bomb (code named Trinity) was test detonated at Trinity Site near the northern boundary of the range on July 16, 1945; seven days after the White Sands Proving Ground was established.
After the conclusion of World War II, 100 long-range German V-2 rockets that were captured by U.S. military troops were brought to WSMR. Of these, 67 were test fired between 1946 and 1951 from the White Sands V-2 Launching Site. (This was followed by the testing of American rockets, which continues to this day, along with testing other technologies.)
NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia landed on the Northrup Strip at WSMR on March 30, 1982 as the conclusion to mission STS-3. This was the only time that NASA used WSMR as a landing site for the space shuttle.
Circa May 30, 1947, a German V-2 sounding rocket fired from White Sands Proving Ground veered off course, crashed and exploded on top of a rocky knoll 3.5 miles south of the Juarez, Mexico business district.
Las Cruces International Airport - No current regularly scheduled commercial passenger flights since July 25, 2005, when Westward Airways ceased operations. General aviation, New Mexico Army National Guard (4 UH-72 Lakota Helicopters), private charters and CAP use the airport, among others.
Ground-based electro-optical deep-space surveillance telescopes performing space surveillance mission.
The White Sands Test Center headquartered at the WSMR "Post Area" has branches for Manned Tactical Systems & Electromagnetic Radiation and conducts missile testing and range recovery operations. Other operations on WSMR land include:
"WSMR Main Post", which includes several smaller areas such as the housing area, golf course, "Navy Area", and "Technical Area" (a recreational shooting range just inside the "El Paso gate" on the south is outside of the Post Area.)
WSMR Museum tours and exhibits, which include V-2 rocket returned in May 2004 after restoration.
1941-04-13: US World War II preparations established the Army Air Base, Alamogordo: 1942 Biggs Army Airfield construction began near El Paso (1947 Biggs AFB, 1973 Biggs AAF)--the region's nearby Deming AAF, Ft Sumner AAF, and South Aux Fid #1 transferred to "Army Div Engrs" in 1946.
1940s: When the range was formed, ranchers' land was leased and, in the 1970s, taken permanently to expand the area available for testing.
1951-08-22: Broomstick Scientists in a unit of the 9393 Technical Service Unit conducted their first launch: the "TF-1" V-2 rocket. (Broomstick Sweepings publication ended after a 22 January 1952 general order transferred "1st Ord. GMS Bn." soldiers to Detachment No. 1, Station Complement.)
1952-05: An additional[where?] 40 mi × 117 mi (64 km × 188 km) was set aside for the "Alamogordo bombing range, White Sands proving ground, and the Fort Bliss antiaircraft range".
1952 (mid): The joint range of more than 200,000 acres (81,000 ha) was 2nd in area to the Eglin AFB range (the Edwards AFB range was 3rd.)
1983 thru 30 September 1993 - WSMR hosted the Simtel collection, the largest collection of free software and freeware available to the public on the ARPANET and Internet. It began as a copy of an MIT collection of CP/M software, and expanded to collect free software for other operating systems as well.
^Hamilton, John A. Blazing skies: Air Defense Artillery on Fort Bliss, 1940-2009("Google eBook" of Government Printing Office document). ISBN9780160869495. Retrieved 2014. Special Orders No. 143, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, dated July 6, 1946, [established] the Antiaircraft and Guided Missile Center [from] the remnants of the Antiaircraft Artillery School, the Antiaircraft Replacement Training Center, Army Ground Forces Board No. 4,13 1st AAA Guided Missile Battalion, the 1852nd Area Service Unit, and remaining antiaircraft units, including three automatic weapons battalions and one gun battalion placed in the Army General Reserve.
^Integration of the Holloman-White Sands Ranges, 1947-1952 (2nd Edition, 1957)
^Mueller (1982). "Holloman Air Force Base". Air Force Bases as of 1982 (Report). p. 248.
^Bushnell, David (25 August 1986). GAPA: Holloman's First Missile Program(Scribd.com image) (Report). Air Force Missile Development Center: Historical Branch. IRIS 00169113. Retrieved 2013. [1st ramjet GAPA] "was launched 14 November 1947 and the initial liquid-fuel variety 12 March 1948.8... The last of the GAPAs, number 114, was launched 15 August 1950, and the project officially terminated at Holloman the following month.11 (date identified at http://airforcehistoryindex.org/data/000/169/113.xml)
^Piland, Doyle. "Way Back When..."(PDF). WSMR newsletter. Retrieved 2014. Launch Complex 38...Site preparation for the TTR [Target Tracking Radar] began in July 1959.... Site preparation for the Discrimination Radar was started in January 1961.
^Site Plan: Nike Zeus Facilities ALA 5 (Map). reproduced in WSMR newsletter: Federal Government of the United States.
^"New Device Will Plot All Planes". Alton Evening Telegraph. 20 August 1959. p. 29. Iconorama shows almost instantly the positions of aircraft thousands of miles away... Traces made by the planes being tracked are scribed on a coated slide by a moving stylus. ... The slide plot measures only one inch square, yet overall error of the projected display is said to be about one part in 1,000. ... Iconorama units already have been installed and operated at the Pacific Missile Range, Point Mugu Calif.; the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; the Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and the Naval Research Laboratory
^Conduct Of Redstone Annual Service Practice At White Sands Missile Range New Mexico(Standing Operating Procedure)|format= requires |url= (help), Fort Sill: Headquarters, United States Army Artillery And Missile Center (the Artillery and Missile Center at Ft Sill was redesignated the Field Artillery Center in 1969.)