The Atomic Testing Museum has been designated the National Atomic Testing Museum, a rare status that museum officials say will help attract American and international visitors. A press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 4 at the museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, to announce the new status.

The museum formally became the National Atomic Testing Museum when President Obama recently signed the Defense Authorization Act into law, according to museum development director Kathleen Frantz. That makes the facility one of 36 museums in the United States with a ‘national’ designation, according to Allan Palmer, the museum’s executive director and CEO.

Opened in 2005, the museum tells the story of the nuclear testing and weapons research in Nevada during the 20th century. The National Atomic Testing Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $14, $11 seniors and military with ID and students with ID, free for kids age 6 and younger.

(Above, a historical photo from the National Atomic Testing Museum.)