Lunar Landing Research Vehicle
In its early work to get ready for the moon landings, NASA tried out this odd-looking contraption, the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, built by Bell Aerospace (it was Bell Aircraft that built the X-1). This is the LLRV during a flight in April 1965. The first man to fly an LLRV, in October 1964, was test pilot Joe Walker, who eventually made 35 flights on the LLRV.
How did it fly, you're wondering? It had a vertically mounted turbofan engine in the center, which was used to lift the LLRV to the target altitude of about 1,500 feet. At that point, according to NASA, the pilot would throttle back to help simulate the moon's lower gravitational pull, and then would use a combination of two lift rockets and 16 smaller, paired rockets (for control of pitch, roll, and yaw) to practice setting the LLRV back on the ground.
July 4, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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