October 30, 1964: What’s the best way to practice lunar landings when you’ve never been to the moon? With the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, of course! Although decidedly inelegant in appearance, astronauts relied on these engineering marvels for their practice.
US Navy pilot, war veteran, aerospace engineer, astronaut and first man on the Moon Neil Armstrong was also an incredible test pilot, with 900 flights in experimental aircraft including the dangerous Lunar Landing Testing Vehicle. On May 6, 1968, he almost died flying one. This is the video of the crash.
In the early 1960s, when the Apollo missions were underway and America was hellbent on reaching the moon, NASA researchers faced a nearly endless litany of technical hurdles and engineering obstacles nobody had even dreamed of up to that point. Chief among them: Once you shoot three guys across 238,900 miles across…