This rather strange looking machine is the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle: it was used by the Apollo Crews to practice final approach to the moon. It had a set of jets that were permanently lit, which supported 80% of it’s weight, meaning that they could use the positioning thrusters to move the rest of the ‘weight’, and it would feel something like the lander would behave in the low gravity of the moon.
Or at least that was the theory: as with much of the simulation for Apollo, nobody really know. They didn’t even know for sure that the surface of the moon would support the weight of the lander: maybe it was like a soft powder into which the astronauts would sink without trace.
This is one of the final illustrations for the ‘Leadership Reflections from Apollo’ book. I still have some small pieces to illustrate, and the conclusion to write, as well as some general proofing and editing, but it is well on the way.