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Lunar Landing Research VehicleThe Lunar Lander Challenge is part of NASA's Centennial Challenges, a program designed to promote technology innovation supporting the U.S. space program.
For the original Apollo program, NASA researchers first built and tested the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (left), which was called the "flying bedstead," in 1964.
Here is the "Eagle," as photographed by Neil Armstrong as it rested on the moon in 1969. After overshooting its landing area, Eagle hovered over rocky lunar terrain until Armstrong found a safe place to land.
This concept drawing of a lunar lander helps NASA illustrate how it plans to return humans to the moon.