The Smithsonian recently launched a Kickstarter campaign meant to preserve and display the spacesuit that astronaut Neil Armstrong wore while walking on the moon. It’s the first ever Kickstarter campaign to be launched by the Smithsonian, and for those of you who don’t know, Armstrong is the first man to have ever walked on the moon.
The crowdfunding project was launched earlier this week, on Monday, July 20, 2015. It’s titled “Reboot The Suit” and aims to raise $500.000 that will be used to digitize Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit and put it on display at the National Air and Space Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his lunar landing mission.
The 50th anniversary will take place in 2019, but funding efforts started 46 years ago, on July 20, 1969, and the Smithsonian has still not reached its target.
Cathleen Lewis, curator from the National Air and Space Museum, gave a statement saying that Armstrong’s spacesuit is the museum’s crown jewel. She went on to add that Kickstarter is “a very new and innovative” approach the Smithsonian as the institution has never done anything like this in the past.
If the campaign ends up being successful, the museum will be able to put Armstrong’s spacesuit back in public display after preserving it in storage for the past 13 years.
The money will serve to underwrite the research required to conserve the spacesuit, build a case and a support structure for the spacesuit, and have the spacesuit digitally scanned so that it can be documented in three dimensions (3D).
Those who chose to contribute to the Reboot The Suit campaign and donate some money will get a reward in the shape of the mission path that Armstrong wore on his suit the day of the mission, a 3D print of one of his gloves, behind-the-scenes goodies, or anything in between. The ultimate price is an invitation to come take an up-close look at Armstrong’s spacesuit before the museum puts it back on display.
Lewis also shared that the Smithsonian wants to gather information on the spacesuit’s construction in order to develop the best display environment for it. She went on to add that the museum staff is especially interested in what happened to Armstrong’s suit post flight.
Besides the above mentioned 3D scanning technology, the Smithsonian is also going to use tools such as CAT scans, UV and IR in order to take a look under the surface of the spacesuit.
The team is also curious to find out who performed repairs on the suit.
Image Source: ksr-ugc.imgix.net