Neil Armstrong's space helmet and gloves on display at the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian is set to exhibit the helmet and gloves worn by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 Moon landings.
Back in July 2015, the museum launched a Kickstarter project entitled 'Reeboot the Suit', which aimed to raise $500,000 to preserve Armstrong's historic spacesuit for future generations.
Having reached the target in just five days, the suit is now undergoing painstaking conservation work, in time for a 2019 exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
In the meantime, Armstrong's helmet and gloves will be on display for a year at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, starting on July 20 – the same day as his famous "one small step" 47 years ago.
"The opportunity to display these artifacts is rare because of their fragility and the necessity to maintain a controlled environment," said Cathleen Lewis, curator of space history at the museum.
"We are excited for the opportunity to show our visitors these components while we work to conserve the body of Neil’s suit."
As part of the conservation project, the museum is also attempting to track the suit's movement as it toured all 50 U.S states in 1970, and its condition whilst on permanent display at the museum from 1971 until 1976.
"During our research and documentation, we realized that very few photos exist of the spacesuit prior to 1976," said a museum spokesperson.
"One of our goals for this conservation project is to create a concrete timeline of the spacesuit’s condition and to document any historical repairs. To do that, we need your help."
"Dig through your files, page through your scrapbooks, or pilfer your grandparents’ memorabilia and help us find photographs, newspaper clippings, or anything that shows the spacesuit on display."
Anyone with relevant photographs can email them to ArmstrongSuit@si.edu.
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