Smithsonian Turns to Kickstarter to Save Armstrong's Spacesuit

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Smithsonian Turns to Kickstarter to Save Armstrong's Spacesuit
The Smithsonian Institution in the US has launched a crowdfunding campaign to preserve the spacesuit in which Nasa astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has turned to the public on Kickstarter to raise $500,000 (roughly Rs. 3.15 crores) needed to preserve the historic artefact from Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Smithsonian, a federally funded institution in the US, plans to conserve, digitise, and display Neil Armstrong's spacesuit - down to the particles of lunar dust that cling to its surface.

Officials explained on the Kickstarter page that federal appropriations do not cover projects like this one, which is why the spacesuit has not been displayed since 2006, Tech Times reported.

The spacesuit - like most of the spacesuits in the museum's collection - is currently being stored in a climate-controlled collections storage area that is not accessible to the public.

To provide public display and access, Armstrong's spacesuit requires conservation to stop current deterioration and a state-of-the-art display case that will mimic the climate-controlled environment where it is currently being safeguarded.

Researchers at Smithsonian will also create a 3D model of Armstrong's spacesuit that people can explore from anywhere.

The project would even make it possible for people to 3D print parts of the spacesuit and try them on.

The campaign which launched yesterday has so far managed to raise $158,942 (roughly Rs. 1 crore) of its $500,000 goal.

The museum in Washington, DC, plans to put the suit on display in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in July 2019.

Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. The first steps by humans on another planetary body were taken by Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969. The astronauts also returned to Earth the first samples from another planetary body.

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