A camera in the gondola of his balloon photographs Air Force Captain Joseph M. Kittinger Jr., as he starts the jump that set his record-breaking parachute jump over southern New Mexico on Aug. 8, 1960. Bettman/Corbis hide caption

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What It's Like To Freefall From 20 Miles Above The Earth

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The body of Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich is buried at Congressional Cemetery on July 2, 1988. Matlovich, recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in Vietnam, became a gay rights figure during his five-year battle against the Air Force, which discharged him in 1975 for homosexuality. In 1980 Matlovich settled with the Air Force and received an honorable discharge. Ira Schwartz /AP hide caption

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'A Perfect Soldier': Remembering A Warrior In The Battle Against Homophobia

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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III, announces that Northrop Grumman is awarded the US Air Force's next-generation long range strike bomber contract at a news conference at the Pentagon on Tuesday. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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French President Francois Hollande shakes hands with U.S. Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone on Aug. 24 after Stone and two friends were awarded the French Legion of Honor for subduing a gunman on a Paris-bound train. Kamil Zihnioglu/AP hide caption

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In Debut Novel, Air Force Officer Questions How We Honor Our Veterans

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Capt. Roger Moseley sits on the wing of an A-37 attack aircraft at Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam in 1971. His call sign in Vietnam was Ramjet — "because I don't have a lot of patience," Moseley says. Courtesy Roger Moseley hide caption

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After A Fiery Speech, A Top-Secret Job Offer In The Desert

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A Minuteman III missile engine is loaded into a truck for transport to another building for X-raying before being torn down and rebuilt. The Air Force's missile command-and-control structure has been the subject of several recent scandals. Douglas C. Pizac/AP hide caption

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Alton Yates says the trip on the high-speed sled could be painful, and frightening. But he also says, "We were anxious to get strapped into that seat to conduct the next experiment." Courtesy of Alton Yates hide caption

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A Teenager In The 1950s, Extreme Sledding For The Air Force

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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

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Should America Keep Its Aging Nuclear Missiles?

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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

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To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades

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An intercontinental ballistic missile in its silo at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Airman John Parie/U.S. Air Force hide caption

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A computer image generated by NASA shows objects orbiting Earth, including those in geosynchronous orbit at a high altitude. The objects are not to scale. NASA hide caption

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