Lockheed Martin delivered the ninth C-5M Super Galaxy transport to the Air Force, announced the company on Dec. 3. The handover took place on Nov. 30 at the company’s aircraft plant in Marietta, Ga. This airframe, aircraft number 85-0001, will undergo internal paint restoration at Stewart ANGB, N.Y., before traveling to its permanent home at Dover AFB, Del., according to the company’s release. Overall, the Air Force intends to modernize 52 of its existing C-5s (one C-5A, 49 C-5Bs, and two C-5Cs) to the new C-5M standard by 2016. These aircraft feature new engines and other performance improvements installed under the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program, along with new cockpit avionics from a previous, separate modernization initiative.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.