The Spirit of Global Reach, one of the Air Force’s C-5M transports from Dover AFB, Del., on Thursday flew a massive $2 billion antimatter detector from Geneva, Switzerland, to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, for its ride into space on the final space shuttle mission next February. The 8.3-ton Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer wouldn’t fit in a 747 freighter, so its overseers specifically requested the C-5M. “I’m very grateful the US Air Force came to help us,” said Nobel Laureate physicist Sam Ting. The C-5M arrived in Geneva after dropping supplies off in Afghanistan and Iraq. Capt. Matt Matis, aircraft commander, said the mission was “a great opportunity to showcase the aircraft.” AMS will be docked with the International Space Station to collect evidence of particles like antimatter to help scientists understand the universe’s makeup. (Geneva report by 1st Lt. Kathleen Ferrero)
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.