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May 6, 1968. More than a year before he became the first human to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong had a narrow escape in the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) at Ellington Air Force Base near Houston. The LLRV had been designed to simulate a descent to the moon’s surface, and all the lunar astronauts trained in it. That day, while Armstrong was piloting, a leaking propellant caused a total failure of his flight controls and forced an ejection.
Armstrong was fine. He bit his tongue hard during his landing by parachute, but otherwise was uninjured. Airspacemag.com described this encounter between Armstrong and another astronaut later that day:
Astronaut - Alan - Bean - Armstrong - Afternoon
… astronaut Alan Bean saw Armstrong that afternoon at his desk in the astronaut office. Bean then heard colleagues in the hall talking about the accident, and asked them, ‘When did this happen?’ About an hour ago, they replied.
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