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Crash, Splash, Boom: NASA Video Shows Landing Trials and Crash Tests

Crash! Splash! Boom!

Successful space missions from the Apollo 11 moon landing to the Curiosity rover are thrilling to watch. But often, behind each perfect landing is a spate of brutal crashes with test aircraft -- and NASA has posted a fascinating new video montage of these trials.

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The three-minute video includes all kinds of splash and crash tests over the decades, in which crash-test dummies' bodies flop around, various types of crafts fall from the air (and land with varying degrees of success) and model space capsules cannonball into pools of water.

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In a caption on its YouTube page, NASA said the videos were filmed at what's now called the Landing Impact and Research Facility at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The facility was built in 1965 to test landing modules for the Apollo moon missions, and it's now used for crash and splash testing of all types of crafts.