The spacesuit worn by American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, is at the center of the Smithsonian’s first-ever fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, as the Smithsonian Institution aims to raise $500,000 towards the preservation of Armstrong’s spacesuit.
With 28 days left to fulfill its half-a-million dollar goal, the fundraiser has already managed to pull in over 3,700 backers who have pledged more than 50 percent of the fundraiser’s target goal.
The plan, according to the Smithsonian’s campaign page on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, entails conserving, digitizing and displaying Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit in time for the upcoming 50 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing which is to take place in July of 2019.
While the Smithsonian receives federal funding to support its core functions and maintain and operating budget, projects such as the preservation of Armstrong’s spacesuit are not covered, which is why the institution has set its sights on crowdfunding as an arbitrary sources of funds through which it can accomplish its goal of preserving the spacesuit of the first person to walk on the Moon.
Presently, the Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit is in a climate-controlled storage area which is inaccessible to the public.
Spacesuits in general are among the most fragile artifacts in the Smithsonian’s collection, which perhaps comes as less of a surprise given that the suits were designed to make it the Moon and back — not to be displayed in a museum for hundreds of years.
In order to display the suit to the public, the Smithsonian claims that it requires conservation to bring deterioration to a halt as well as a state-of-the-art display case which will effectively mimic the climate-controlled environment in which its presently being stored.
Those interested in donating to the preservation of Armstrong’s suit can do so by visiting the Smithsonian’s “Reboot the Suit” campaign on Kickstarter.