NASA's Ames Research Center turns 30

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The vertical motion simulator or VMS can adapt to simulate how nearly any aircraft, ranging from small planes to the space shuttle, can be flown in a variety of conditions.

Pilots also use the VMS to train how to deal with any situation they'll encounter in the cockpit.

"They can also handle off-normal scenarios. We'll give them display failure, wind shear, we'll give them bad visibility, no visibility, tire failure, tube failures and they'll have to be able to respond to that as if it were in their motor memory if it happens in real life," NASA contractor Kathleen Starmer said.

The VMS also helps develop aircraft in the development stage like the prototype for a helicopter-like craft that can carry hundreds of people like a commercial airliner.

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