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July 9, 2019
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Virginia Air & Space Center and Riverside 3D IMAX Theater
600 Settlers Landing Rd.
Hampton, VA 23669
nasa gantry
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The Lunar Landing Research Facility a Simulator of 'Gantry' Proportions

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy went before a joint session of Congress with a bold challenge to land astronauts on the moon before the end of the decade. By May 1, 1962, a set of “Specifications for Construction of a Lunar Landing Research Facility (LLRF)” at NASA Langley was delivered. Construction of the facility was completed in 1965.
The LLRF – currently known as the Landing and Impact Research (LandIR) Facility – is part of Hampton’s skyline. However, many in the area are unaware of its integral role in the success of Apollo and the fulfillment of President Kennedy’s vision. The gargantuan gantry simulated the last 150 feet before landing on the surface of the Moon and allowed 24 astronauts to practice maneuvering in relative safety. They were also able to simulate the Moon’s 1/6th gravity, so astronauts could learn to walk on the lunar surface. The gantry’s greatest compliment was received when a reporter asked Neil Armstrong what it was like to walk on the Moon, and he replied, “Like Langley.”
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the contributions of the LLRF will be remembered. Construction documents, photographs of the construction and operations, anecdotes and videos of the LLRF will be shown with a focus on the safety of astronauts landing on the moon. There will also be a brief discussion of the current and future uses of the facility.
Lisa E. Jones earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1986. She has over 33 years of experience in full-scale dynamic testing at the LandIR Facility. Tests have included crash testing of general aviation aircraft, military items, Orion water impact testing, and commercial crew landing systems tests on soil and water. Jones is the Branch Head of the Structures Testing Branch in the Research Directorate and Facility Manager for the LandIR.

For personnel who can't attend in person, this presentation will be streamed on NASA Langley video streaming.