A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile can hit almost any target on earth ... but only if it flies through Russian airspace. This unarmed test version was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. V.A. Mouzon/Tech Sgt. Vincent Mouzon/U.S. Air Force hide caption

itoggle caption V.A. Mouzon/Tech Sgt. Vincent Mouzon/U.S. Air Force

First Lt. Patrick Romanofski (center) and 2nd Lt. Andrew Beckner (left) practice the launch of nuclear weapons. Promotions are now more strongly influenced by hands-on performance in this simulator. R.J. Oriez/U.S. Air Force hide caption

itoggle caption R.J. Oriez/U.S. Air Force

The remote HAARP facility in Alaska has 180 antennas that are used to study the ionosphere. Courtesy of Christopher Fallen hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Christopher Fallen