Operation Plumbbob: Controversial Nuclear Tests Near Las Vegas

TLDR Operation Plumbbob was a series of nuclear tests conducted by the US in 1957 near Las Vegas, resulting in mushroom clouds visible to the population. The tests were controversial due to the significant radiation exposure and lawsuits that followed, as well as the creation of a cannon-like explosion and the possibility of a steel lid reaching space.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Operation Plumbbob was a controversial series of nuclear tests conducted by the United States in Nevada in 1957, which included various types of detonations and experiments.
01:39 Operation Plumbbob was controversial because the nuclear tests took place close to Las Vegas, which allowed the population to easily see the mushroom clouds.
02:42 Operation Plumbbob was a dramatic expansion in nuclear testing, doubling the number of tests from the previous series and including experiments with pigs and human observers.
03:47 Operation Plumbbob involved exposing soldiers and civilians to nuclear blasts, resulting in lawsuits due to the long-lasting and significant radiation exposure, as well as the first underground nuclear detonations.
04:56 The researchers inadvertently created a cannon-like explosion using a nuclear weapon, a shaft drilled into the ground as the barrel, and a 2,000 pound steel cap as the projectile.
06:00 The steel cap propelled at a speed of 150,000 miles per hour, making it the fastest human object in history, but it is unlikely that it was the first man-made object in space.
07:08 The steel lid from Operation Plumbbob has never been found and it is theorized that it might have deformed into a more aerodynamic shape and survived the trip into space.
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