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

Lt. Raj Bansal and Capt. Joseph Shannon (right) approach Foxtrot-01, a remote nuclear missile base in Nebraska. Geoffrey Brumfiel/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Geoffrey Brumfiel/NPR

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

Physicists put diamonds at the center of this massive laser, to see what would happen. Matt Swisher/Matt Swisher/LLNL hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Swisher/Matt Swisher/LLNL

The Two-Way

Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser

It's not a plot from a Bond film: Zapping diamonds could tell researchers more about the insides of giant planets.

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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 will monitor carbon dioxide emissions. jhoward/NASA/JPL hide caption

itoggle caption jhoward/NASA/JPL

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball. NASA's Ames Research Center hide caption

itoggle caption NASA's Ames Research Center

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