NASA tech simulates moon landing (audio slideshow)

Inside the massive Vertical Motion Simulator at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., engineers test designs for next-generation lunar landers.

Housed in a 10-story building at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., is one of the world's most unique machines. The Vertical Motion Simulator is a massive installation that gives pilots and engineers the opportunity to test aircraft design and explore flight characteristics with an incredibly high level of realism and accuracy.

Last week CNET visited the facility as NASA was testing out Altair, the design for the next generation of lunar landers. As they test the current design, pilots and engineers make recommendations, enhancements, and alterations.

About the author

James Martin is the staff photographer at CNET News, covering the geeks and gadgets of Silicon Valley. When he's not live-blogging the latest product launches from Apple, Google, or Facebook, James can be found exploring NASA, probing robotics labs, and getting behind-the-scenes with some of the Bay Area's most innovative thinkers.

 

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