The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States in collaboration with the United Kingdom and with support from Canada.

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1. The Manhattan Project

From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory that designed the bombs.

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2. Major General Leslie Groves 

The Army component was designated the Manhattan District, as its first headquarters were in Manhattan; the name gradually superseded the official codename, Development of Substitute Materials, for the entire project.

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3. Manhattan District

The Manhattan Project absorbed its earlier British counterpart, Tube Alloys. The Manhattan Project grew rapidly and employed nearly 130,000 people at its peak and cost nearly US$2 billion (equivalent to about $24 billion in 2021).

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4. Tube Alloys

Over 90 percent of the cost was for building factories and to produce fissile material, with less than 10 percent for development and production of the weapons. Research and production took place at more than 30 sites across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

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5. Fissile Material

The Manhattan Project was a massive undertaking, and it was one of the most important scientific projects of the 20th century. The project led to the development of two types of atomic bombs: a uranium-based bomb and a plutonium-based bomb.

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6. Two Types of Atomic Bombs 

The first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945, in the Trinity test in New Mexico. The bomb was detonated 1,000 feet above the ground and produced an explosion equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT. The Manhattan Project was a success in terms of developing and producing atomic bombs.

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7. The First Atomic Bomb

The project also had a number of negative consequences. The project led to the development of a new and dangerous weapon that has the potential to destroy entire cities.

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8. Negative Consequences

The project also exposed workers to dangerous levels of radiation, and it caused environmental damage at some of the project sites. The Manhattan Project was a complex and controversial undertaking.

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9. Environmental Damage 

It was a project that had both positive and negative consequences. The project led to the development of a new and powerful weapon, but it also had a number of negative consequences.

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10. Powerful Weapon