A traveler heading northward from El Paso eventually enters a stretch of New Mexico desert so remote and hostile that the Spanish conquistadors dubbed it Jornada del Muerto — a phrase not easily translated. A jornada is a day of hard labor. Muerto means dead man. The dead man’s toil, perhaps. Or maybe: a long day’s journey toward death.
In the depths of that empty land, in the early darkness of a midsummer Monday in 1945, some 425 people, including some of the world’s most brilliant scientists and engineers, prepared to detonate the first nuclear explosive device. They called it “the Gadget.”… Seguir leyendo »