AKA: Lunar Landing Research Facility. Status: Operational 1965.
Langley Research Center operated the facility, which enabled test vehicles to be operated under one-sixth g conditions.
Langley Research Center's Lunar Landing Research Facility was nearing completion. A gantry structure 121.9 meters (400 feet) long and 76.2 meters (250 feet) high would suspend a model of the LEM. It would sustain five-sixths of the model's weight, simulating lunar gravity, and thus would enable astronauts to practice lunar landings.
Langley Research Center put into operation its 3.5 million Lunar Landing Research Facility. The huge structure (76.2 m (250 ft) high and 121.9 m (400 ft) long) would be used to explore techniques and to forecast various problems of landing on the moon. The facility would enable a test vehicle to be operated under one-sixth g conditions.
Recent discussion between Axel Mattson of LaRC and Donald K. Slayton of MSC concerning the possibility of astronauts' using the Lunar Landing Research Facility (LLRF) at Langley led to agreement that astronauts should fly the LLRF for a week before flying the MSC lunar landing training vehicle. An evaluation of the proposal at MSC resulted in a letter from Director Robert R. Gilruth to LaRC Director Floyd L. Thompson indicating the desirability of using the LLRF and also the desirability of some equipment modifications that would improve the vehicle with a minimum effort. These included such items as LEM flight instruments, hand controllers, panel modifications, and software changes. Also discussed was the training benefit that could be realized if the facility were updated to use a vehicle like the LEM so the pilots could become familiar with problems of a standup restraint system, pressure suit and helmet interface with the cockpit structure and window during landing operations, and sensing and reacting to the dynamic cues of motion while standing up.
MSC worked out a program with LaRC for use of the Lunar Landing Research Facility (LLRF) for preflight transition for LM flight crews before free-flight training in the lunar landing training vehicle. LM hardware sent to Langley to be used as training aids included two flight director attitude indicators, an attitude controller assembly, a thrust-translation controller assembly, and an altitude-rate meter.