This site, though a little dated, has great info on the NTS and some specifics on mercury, NV
Area 23 — This area, within the Reserved Zone, occupies 13 km2 (5 mi2) in the southeastern portion of the NTS and is the location of the largest
operational support complex. Mercury was established in 1951 and serves as the main administrative and industrial support center at the NTS. Permanent
structures and services include housing and feeding, laboratory, maintenance, communication and support facilities, computer facilities, warehouses,
storage yards, motor pools, and administrative offices. Mercury is located approximately 8 km (5 mi) from U.S. Highway 95. The Area 23 Class II
sanitary landfill, located just west of Mercury, is open to receive all types of nonhazardous solid waste. Wastes are compacted and covered to form
layers. The Area 23 landfill receives approximately 830 tons of solid waste annually. The landfill is an open, rectangular pit with steep, nearly
vertical sides. The current capacity of the landfill is approximately 4.5 x 105 cubic meters (m3) (5.9 x 105 cubic yards [yd³]).
Area 22 — This area, within the Reserved Zone, occupies 83 km2 (32 mi2) in the southeastern corner of the NTS and serves as the main entrance area.
Before 1958, this area included Camp Desert Rock, a Sixth Army installation used for housing troops taking part in military exercises at the NTS.
After 1958, the camp was essentially removed, with the exception of the Desert Rock Airport. In 1969, the runway was extended to a length of 2,286 m
(7,500 ft). The airport currently is open, but provides no services.
Also check this on desert rock airlfield...the airport you mentioned in mercury...www.airfields-freeman.com...
Camp Desert Rock was also known as Desert Atom Camp.
It was home to the Army's Atomic Maneuver Battalion from 1951-1955.
The camp consisted of 100 semi-permanent buildings,
and was often filled to the 6,000 personnel capacity.
These troops, from all four services, observed nuclear detonations
from trenches, tanks and armored personnel carriers at distances of 2,500-7,000 yards.
The first airfield near Desert Rock was the Desert Rock Army Airfield.
The date of construction of Desert Rock AAF has not been determined.
It was apparently built at some point between 1949-57,
as it was not depicted on the 1940 Airports & Airways Map from the NV Division of Aeronautics (courtesy of Jim Mallery)
or the September 1949 Mt. Whitney World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Donald Felton).
The earliest depiction of the field which has been located
was on the May 1957 Mt. Whitney Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted Desert Rock AAF as being located 4 miles west of Camp Desert Rock,
and described the field as having a 4,000' unpaved runway.
However, this location would appear to be erroneous,
as it is in a very hilly location with no flat ground,
and no trace of a former airfield is perceptible at this location in later aerial photographs.
According to a Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement,
"After 1958, the camp was essentially removed, with the exception of the Desert Rock Airport."
As of 2003, the Desert Rock Airfield is still active,
and owned by the US Department of Energy.
It was used in the past to support atomic weapons tests as the primary air facility of the Nevada Test Site.
It is located in the town of Mercury, which is the primary base camp for the Nevada Test Site.
A Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement says
"The airport currently is open, but provides no services."
The Airfield Facility Directory includes the comment: "Used regularly by Department of Energy
F-27, F-227, DC-9, DHC-7, Kingair-Mil, C-130, military & DOE helicopters."
Now that nuclear weapons tests are no longer conducted,
it is not known what purpose the Desert Rock Airfield currently serves.
A Department of Energy web site includes the following comments:
"The airport also has a landing-arrester cable for use in the recovery
of damaged aircraft that require emergency landing facilities.
Desert Rock Airport is no longer manned,
and no services are available because of funding and program cutbacks.
However, Desert Rock Airport is still operational, and the use of this airstrip is controlled by the DOE."
It has been mentioned in British aviation magazines as a possible operating site
for the Northrop C-41SR Senior Citizen, a rumored stealth transport aircraft.
The airfield at Desert Rock consists of a single paved 7,500' Runway 2/20,
along with a small ramp area.
There do not appear to be any hangars or indications of based aircraft.
[edit on 3-3-2005 by azraeltheonionpeeler]