HOUSTON, May 6 (UPI) -- Neil A. Armstrong, the civillian astronaut who piloted the Gemini?
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Background: HOUSTON, May 6 (UPI) -- Neil A. Armstrong, the civillian astronaut who piloted the Gemini 8 spacecraft to an emergency landing in 1966, parachuted safely from a jet-powered moon-landing trainer craft seconds before it crashed and burned today.
The accident occurred at Ellington Air Force Base near the Houston Space Center.
Paul Haney, chief spokesman for the Manned Spacecraft Center, said Mr. Armstrong had escaped unharmed.
"Minutes later, he was back in the hangar, apparently O.K., walking around, discussing the incident," Mr. Haney said.
It was not known immediately what cause the $2.5 million vehicle to plunge to earth.
The craft is designed to perform practice landings on the moon such as the ones Apollo astronauts hope to make before 1970.
Mr. Haney, said the single seat, spider-shaped craft was at an altitude of 200 feet when Mr. Armstrong ejected. He landed in a field at the edge of the Air Force base.