Budget Affordable Hotels MotelClean Comfortable Rooms Hotels AAA Approved
329 E Ridgecrest Blvd
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
(760) 677-2840


Maturango Museum

Founded in 1962, the Maturango Museum is an important educational and cultural resource in Ridgecrest, California. In addition to the exhibit galleries, which feature the natural and cultural history of the Upper Mojave Desert, the Museum sponsors many programs and tours, including tours to the world-famous Coso petroglyphs. The Museum is an information center for Death Valley, the Northern Mojave Desert, and the Highway 395 and 178 corridors. Admission is free to the gift shop and information area. Admission to museum exhibits and art gallery is free to members; for non-members we ask $5 per adult age 18 – 54 and $3 age 55 and older. There is no charge for anyone under age 18 or for active duty military. Admission to the museum will be FREE to everyone the 2nd Saturday of each month! Museum Membership also includes the privilege of visiting other museums, at no additional charge, with which the Maturango Museum has a reciprocal agreement. We are open every day 10-5, excluding major holidays .

Marian describes her artwork; “My work involves the placement of points of ink by hand, one at a time, in a meticulous process. When all of the points have been placed, selected areas have color added to enhance some of the pieces, while others are left strictly black and white. We have become a society of haste, rushing from place to place, watching movies which flash moments to us at breakneck speeds. Thus, pen and ink stippling, or pointillism, is a dying art -form, one I am committed to keep alive. It forces me to slow down, to breathe, to appreciate stillness, which has translated into every aspect of my life. When one slows, one sees the beauty of this world, and it has allowed me to capture some of those moments in my work. The main focus of my work is wildlife and nature, an interest inspired by a chance encounter with a hummingbird in my formative years.”

Marian lives in Ridgecrest and works at the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.
Marian's artwork has illustrated publications for the Seattle Aquarium, has been purchased by physicians for their offices and homes, has been auctioned to raise money in New York for breast cancer research, and has been purchased by art lovers from “coast to coast”and in the UK.

The Docents of the Maturango Museum are volunteers trained to offer educational programs and tours of the museum. Programs are for both children and adults. The programs can be offered at the museum or at another venue. Classroom programs support the California State Standards and also offer enrichment. Programs can be adapted to different grade levels and ages. All programs include information about the Indian Wells Valley and the Mojave Desert. To request a program you can download a request form or contact the Education Coordinator Nora Nuckles at 760-375-6900.

The Sand Canyon Environmental Educational Program (SEEP) is a program that teaches elementary students about water and living within a sustainable arid ecosystem. SEEP involves a hands-on approach for the students and is a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management, the Docents of the Maturango Museum and many other organizations. For more information contact the BLM office at (760) 384-5400.

Naval Museum of Armament & Technology

About the China Lake Museum Foundation (CLMF)

The CLMF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation established in 1993 to support the establishment and operation of the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology. The CLMF goal is to create a self sustaining, historical, educational, entertaining museum that shares the history of China Lake and its role in development of Naval Armament and Technology with Navy personnel, their contractors, and the public, and to nurture curiosity in science and technology to youth through its rocket scientist program and other science programs.

What is unique about China Lake

Much of the weapon development heritage of the China Lake facility--past, present, and future--is unique and irreplaceable, and has been nationally recognized as a critical resource that has provided advanced weapon system development and support for maintaining the United States' unsurpassed military strength from World War II to the present. Since its beginning in 1943, China Lake has accomplished a long list of "Technical Firsts" in its laboratories and on its Test and Evaluation Ranges. The history of the China Lake Military Mission is unique indeed. The Museum preserves and displays many unique achievements in naval air and surface armament and technology.


Monday – Saturday: 10AM – 4PM
Sunday: open select community event days

Closed all Major Holidays


Phone: (760) 677-2866 **New Number**
email: chinalakemuseum@mediacombb.net

or chinalakemuseumstoremanager@gmail.com


(Ridgecrest Museum)

China Lake Museum Foundation
130 East Las Flores
Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Mailing Address

China Lake Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 217
Ridgecrest, CA 93556-021


Aircraft rockets were China Lake's raison d'etre at its establishment. The early forward-firing aircraft rockets developed by the CalTech-NOTS team included the 3.5- and 5.0-Inch Aircraft Rockets; the 5.0-Inch High-Velocity Aircraft Rocket, Holy Moses; and the 11.75-inch Tiny Tim. Early China Lake products also included spin-stabilized bombardment rockets and special-purpose rockets that were used for everything from propelling line charges to sampling atomic clouds. Folding-fin aircraft rockets (FFARs) are another highly successful China Lake product; literally millions of the 2.75-inch Mighty Mouse and 5.0-inch Zuni have been fired in combat. Related work by China Lake includes the development of the BOMROC system and several rocket-assisted projectiles (RAPs); work on RAPs evolved over the years to include extended-range guided projectiles, such as the Antiradiation Projectile (ARP). China Lake's rocketry expertise--propulsion, warheads, airframes, aerodynamics, ballistics, launchers, fire-control, etc.--was also instrumental in establishing its guided missile programs.

The "Eye" Series of free-fall weapons (originally targeted with an "iron bombsite and a Mk 1 eyeball") began with a late-'50s China Lake study that showed the need for improved conventional weapons. NOTS developed a family of weapons during the 1960s that included the well-known Snakeye fin-retarded bomb (Mk 81 and Mk 82 GP bombs) and the Rockeye II antitank/material cluster weapon Mk 20, which has provided the basis for other dispenser weapons such as the current Gator mine-delivery system. The Eye series also included the Sadeye, Rockeye I, and Gladeye dispenser weapons; Fireye gelled-fuel weapon; Briteye balloon-borne flare; and Deneye antitank mine-dispenser system--as well as some special-purpose weapons, submunitions, fuzes, launchers, and supporting systems. Follow-on work included design and development for the Advanced Bomb Family.
China Lake also developed and applied the technology of Fuel-Air Explosive (FAE) Weapons, from grenades to 2,000-pound FAE II bombs (BLU-96/B). FAE I (CBU-55/72) was deployed in 1970, and further developments have included surface-launched mine-clearing systems (SLU-FAE and CATFAE)

Sidewinder is certainly China Lake's best-known success, although far from being its only one. Although guided missiles were originally outside of the Station's charter, Sidewinder was developed by China Lake beginning with a 1949 feasibility study that begat the "heat-homing rocket" that became Sidewinder. Fielded in 1956 and combat proven in 1958, AIM-9A through AIM-9M versions of the deadly little heat-seeker have served the Fleet for over 35 years. Developed and modernized with the principles of simplicity, reliability, and producibility in mind, the AIM-9 family of missiles has proven to be the world's most accurate, reliable, and successful dogfight missile--a missile adopted and copied by friend and foe alike. During the '70s NWC pursued Agile (XAIM-95), an advanced dogfight missile combining China Lake technology advancements in thrust-vector control, guidance, and targeting. China Lake demonstrated the technology and hardware for the next-generation long-range air-to-air missile with its Advanced Common Intercept Missile Demonstration (ACIMD), which incorporated advanced guidance, ramjet-propulsion, warhead, and airframe technologies.

Shrike (AGM-45) is another China Lake development demanded directly by the Fleet; the first successful antiradar missile, Shrike has become one of the most-fired guided missiles in history since its 1965 combat debut. Along with Shrike developments, China Lake antiradar technology programs (such as ERASE and its products and by-products, like the Antiradiation Projectile) provided the foundations for the next generation of antiradar missiles, including HARM (AGM-88). With the Walleye (AGM-62) TV-guided glide bomb, China Lake designed and developed the first precision-guided antisurface weapon. An outgrowth of in-house technology efforts, Walleye was fielded in 1967 and proved its unsurpassed accuracy in combat. Related to Walleye but cancelled before completion was Condor (AGM-53), a rocket-powered TV-guided missile. Extended-range data links have also been developed for Walleye. China Lake also developed Bulldog (AGM-83), the first successful laser-guided missile, which was approved for service use in 1974 but cancelled in favor of the Air Force Maverick.

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