The late Neil Armstrong is rightly regarded as a hero for being the first person to ever walk on the Moon. But arguably his greatest feat was managing to land the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander in the first place.
The Lander was -- in the words of Douglas Adams -- a crazy piece of near junk by today's standards, and while it was an obvious technical marvel, landing it was also incredibly risky. Armstrong had to deal with low fuel and pick a landing site on the fly before reporting back to Houston that the Eagle had -- after all that -- made it to the Moon safely.
And what is less well remembered, is the fact that a test flight of the lander almost ended Armstrong's life almost a year before the Apollo 11 mission.
On May 6 1968 Armstrong piloted the Lunar Landing Testing Vehicle -- like the actual lander, but with an inverted jet engine designed to imitate the Moon's gravity -- in a test flight which just 100 feet above Earth went disastrously wrong. Armstrong had to eject from the craft before it plunged to the Earth and crashed in a firey explosion.