Declassified U.S. Nuclear Test Film #65





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Published on Oct 2, 2007

0800065 - JTF-8 Presents Operation Dominic: Johnston Island - 1962 - 19:23 - Black&White - The Johnston Island area segment of Operation Dominic I was divided into two parts, the Fishbowl high-altitude tests and open sea airdrop tests. Much of the film was devoted to the failures that occurred in the high-altitude program. In one test, a rocket was destroyed because it was believed to be off-course, but post flight data revealed that it was on the correct trajectory. Another rocket blew up on the launch pad because of a sticking fuel valve. This caused the high explosives in the weapon to detonate, resulting in the destruction and contamination of the launch pad and surrounding area. In another instance, a rocket had flight irregularities stemming from the wrong configuration of a flight plan. The nuclear device detonated directly over Johnston Island, instead of 26 miles away as planned.

To improve obtaining test data, the Thor launch vehicles (rockets) also carried and deployed three scientific test pods. These reentry pods contained diagnostic equipment, and shortly after they were deployed, the nuclear weapon was detonated. The pods splashed into the sea and were retrieved by helicopters.

The successful rocket-launched, weapons-effects, Operation Fishbowl high-altitude tests conducted in the Johnston Island area in 1962 were as follows:

STARFISH PRIME, July 9, 400-kilometer altitude, 1.4 megaton
CHECKMATE, October 20, tens of kilometers altitude, low (less than 20 kilotons)
BLUEGILL 3 PRIME, October 26, tens of kilometers altitude, submegaton (less than 1 Mt, but more than 200 kt)
KINGFISH, November 1, tens of kilometers altitude; submegaton (less than 1 Mt, but more than 200 kt)
TIGHTROPE, November 4, tens of kilometers altitude, low (less than 20 kilotons)

The five open sea airdrop, weapons-related tests in the Johnston Island area were as follows:

ANDROSCOGGIN, October 2, 75 kilotons (kt)
BUMPING, October 6, 11.3 kt
CHAMA, October 18, 1.59 megatons (Mt)
CALAMITY, October 27, 800 kt
HOUSATONIC, October 30, 8.3 Mt


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