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The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is launching a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore when he became the first person to walk on the moon. The "Reboot the Suit: Bring Back Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit" campaign launched Monday on Kickstarter, marking 46 years since Armstrong's moonwalk in 1969.
Spacesuits were built for short-term use with materials that break down over time. The museum aims to raise $500,000 to conserve the spacesuit, build a climate-controlled display case and digitize the spacesuit with 3D scanning.
The Smithsonian formed a partnership with Kickstarter for a series of crowdfunded projects. The spacesuit is the first. Armstrong's spacesuit is deteriorating and hasn't been displayed since 2006. The museum plans to display it for the 50th anniversary of Armstrong's moonwalk. Later, the suit will be a centerpiece in "Destination Moon," a gallery opening in 2020.
"We want to preserve Armstrong’s spacesuit — and the story it tells of its incredible journey — down to the particles of lunar dust that cling to its surface," the Kicksarter project reads. "Just like the Apollo program, we will accomplish this in collaboration of thousands of people across the country and around the world."
Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82.