The Smithsonian did it. The National Air and Space Museum needs help to save the spacesuit of Neil Armstrong and it got it plentifully.
With kickstarting a crowdfunding campaign, the Smithsonian wished to honour the memory of the historic moon landing of Neil Armstrong by letting experts do what they know best: restore the iconic spacesuit of the astronaut, and then exhibiting it in exciting new spaces specially created to encompass the spacesuit.
So it needed a little help from friends. And it received it plentifully. Within just five days of the crowdfunding’s campaing launch on Kickstarter, the National Air and Space Museum has already reached the goal of 500,000 dollars.
“Reboot the Suit” can now proceed. Thanks to 62,000 backers so far donating between 1 dollar and 10,000 dollars, Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be restored to glory.
Yoon Lee, who is the director for digital philanthropy at the Smithsonian stated:
“It’s a little overwhelming. We thought we could do it, get our goal, but we didn’t think it would be so fast. We’ve been racing to keep up”.
Neil Armstrong is the prominent figure of Apollo 11 mission that landed on the Moon in 1969, July 20th. His iconic Apollo 11 spacesuit has been stored in the Smithsonian’s capacities. Yet, with little to no funds to allow its full and professional restoration, it could not be exhibited for the public to see.
As the goal of 500,000 dollars has already been reached, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum future plans might take off sooner than expected. Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be professionally restored and included in a specially designed exhibit. The Smithsonian plans to also 3D scan the exhibit and allow it as open-source for anyone to enjoy.
As the Smithsonian is funded by federal government, it’s not too easy to understand how is it that an enormous institution of such prestige needs the help of crowdfunding. Well, federal funds only cover the preservation of the spacesuit in the storage facilities of the Smithsonian.
Saving Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit is possibly not the last venture of the Smitshonian on Kickstarter. As the “Reboot the Suit” Kickstarter campaign has already been so successful, the spacesuit will not only be restored but also showcased in a 2019 anniversary exhibition of the moon landing.
Restoration will be done with the greatest attention to detail: the spacesuit gets to keep all moon dust stains and other possible stains from the 1969 mission.
Photo Credits airandspace.si.edu