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When Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon in 1969, the NASA astronaut emerged from a specially made piece of aeronautical engineering—the Eagle lander. This lander, part of the Apollo 11 lunar module, is the most famous example of a type of spacecraft known as a “lunar lander.”

Lunar landers are designed to conquer the unique conditions on the moon, where a lack of atmosphere and intense temperatures make touching down and staying operational a challenge.