Who is Outrider?

Outrider believes that the global challenges we face together must be solved by working together.

Among the greatest threats to the future of humankind are nuclear weapons and global climate change. Outrider makes the bold claim that both threats can be overcome — and not just by policy makers but by people with the right tools and inspiration.

Chapter 1

Nuclear History: World War II

The U.S. races to beat Germany to an atomic bomb.


War begins in Europe

Albert Einstein discusses the contents of a letter with a man in a white shirt and a tie.
OCTOBER 21, 1939

The U.S. starts researching uranium

Albert Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt to warn him of a rumored Nazi program to develop nuclear weapons. In response, Roosevelt formed a committee to analyze the state of scientific research on uranium. 

DECEMBER 7, 1941

Japan bombs Pearl Harbor.

DECEMBER 8, 1941

The U.S. declares war on Japan.

Typed letter with V.B. OK FDR. scrawled below the body of the letter.
JUNE 17, 1942

Roosevelt Approves Production of the Atomic Bomb

President Roosevelt gave Vannevar Bush, director of the U.S. government’s research into fission, approval to move the project into production. He did so with seven letters: “V.B. OK FDR"


The Manhattan Project Begins

The Manhattan Project brought together the best physicists and engineers in the country to build the most devastating bombs ever imagined. By the program’s end, 130,000 people were employed at more than 30 sites across the U.S., the U.K., and Canada—and two atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan.

The Women of the Manhattan Project

From physicists to pipe-fitters, thousands of women contributed to the Manhattan Project.

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The Science of the Bomb


Spying on the Bomb

Despite the highest levels of secrecy, spies infiltrated the Manhattan Project and stole crucial information for the Soviet Union.

Sabotaging the Nazi bomb

Nine Norwegian spies scaled a 500-foot cliff in the dead of winter to break into a Nazi nuclear facility—and destroy it.

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MAY 8, 1945

The war ends in Europe. It continues in the Pacific.

July 16, 1945

The Trinity Test

The Trinity Test in southern New Mexico was the first ever detonation of a nuclear weapon. The bomb exploded with the power of 20 kilotons of TNT. The fireball was 600 feet wide; its heat was felt over 100 miles away. 

JULY 17, 1945

Manhattan Project scientists petition President Truman not to use the bomb

AUGUST 6, 1945

The Bomb is Dropped on Hiroshima

The bomb codenamed “Little Boy” exploded with the force of 15 kilotons of TNT and killed roughly 135,000 people.

August 9, 1945

The Soviets declare war on Japan and invade Japanese-occupied territory in China.

AUGUST 9, 1945

The bomb is dropped on Nagasaki

The bomb dropped on Nagasaki was called “Fat Man.” An estimated 40,000 people died from the explosion which was equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT, and twice as many died from related health issues in the following months and years.

The Third Shot

The U.S. nearly dropped a third bomb on Japan and had plans to drop several more before the end of the war.

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A group of Japanese men in military dress and suits stand in a tight group aboard the deck of a battleship.
AUGUST 15, 1945

Japan surrenders unconditionally and World War II is over.

Chapter 2

Nuclear History: The Cold War

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