NASA Puts 400+ Historic Experimental Flight Videos on YouTube

“Video,” as we now say on the inter­net, “or it did­n’t hap­pen,” artic­u­lat­ing a prin­ci­ple to which the ever-for­ward-think­ing Nation­al Aero­nau­tics and Space Admin­is­tra­tion (NASA) has adhered for about 70 years now, start­ing with film in the time before the inven­tion of video itself. Even set­ting aside the won­ders of voy­ag­ing into out­er space, NASA has done a few things right here on Earth that you would­n’t believe unless you saw them with your own eyes. And now you eas­i­ly can, thanks to the agen­cy’s com­mit­ment to mak­ing the fruits of its research avail­able to all on its YouTube Chan­nel. Take for exam­ple this recent­ly-uploaded col­lec­tion of 400 his­toric flight videos.

Here we have just a sam­pling of the hun­dreds of videos avail­able to all: the M2-F1, a pro­to­type wing­less air­craft, towed across a lakebed by a mod­i­fied 1963 Pon­ti­ac Catali­na con­vert­ible; a mid-1960s test of the Lunar Lan­der Research Vehi­cle, also known as the “fly­ing bed­stead,” that will sure­ly remind long-mem­o­ried gamers of their many quar­ters lost to Atar­i’s Lunar Lan­der; a spin tak­en in the Mojave Desert, forty years lat­er, by the Mars Explo­ration Rover; and, most explo­sive­ly of all, a “con­trolled impact demon­stra­tion” of a Boe­ing 720 air­lin­er full of crash-test dum­mies meant to test out a new type of “anti-mist­ing kerosene” as well as a vari­ety of oth­er inno­va­tions designed to increase crash sur­viv­abil­i­ty.

These his­toric test videos were all shot back when the Arm­strong Flight Research Cen­ter (re-named in 2014 for Neil Arm­strong, whose lega­cy stands as a tes­ta­ment to the cumu­la­tive effec­tive­ness of all these NASA tests) was known as the Hugh L. Dry­den Flight Research Cen­ter: you can watch the 418 clips just from that era on this playlist.

Rest assured that the exper­i­men­ta­tion con­tin­ues and that NASA still push­es the bound­aries of avi­a­tion right here on Earth, a project con­tin­u­ous­ly doc­u­ment­ed in the chan­nel’s newest videos. As aston­ish­ing as we may find mankind’s for­ays up into the sky and beyond so far, the avi­a­tion engi­neer’s imag­i­na­tion, it seems, has only just got­ten start­ed.

via Pale­o­Fu­ture

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Best of NASA Space Shut­tle Videos (1981–2010)

Free NASA eBook The­o­rizes How We Will Com­mu­ni­cate with Aliens

NASA Puts Online a Big Col­lec­tion of Space Sounds, and They’re Free to Down­load and Use

NASA Releas­es 3 Mil­lion Ther­mal Images of Our Plan­et Earth

NASA Archive Col­lects Great Time-Lapse Videos of our Plan­et

NASA Releas­es a Mas­sive Online Archive: 140,000 Pho­tos, Videos & Audio Files Free to Search and Down­load

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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