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Smithsonian Kickstarter Success: $500K Raised To Preserve Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit

Buzz Aldrin Moon Landing

The Smithsonian Institute recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter with the intent of raising half-a-million dollars to preserve Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit — the spacesuit worn by the first man to walk on the Moon — and with 23 days left to go, the fundraiser has already exceeded its goal.

While the campaign ends on August 19, 2015, over $538,800 has already been pledged by over 6,780 backers.

The Smithsonian’s plans for the spacesuit entail digitizing, conserving it, and playing it on display for everyone to enjoy. Not only that, it’ll be a centerpiece of a brand new exhibition called Destination Moon, which is planned to be in 2020 at the Museum in Washington, DC.

The new gallery will, according to the Smithsonian’s “Reboot the Suit” fundraising page on Kickstarter, explore how Armstrong’s “one small step” in July 1969, became “an accomplishment that resonated around the world.”

The new gallery will explore how Armstrong’s “one small step…” in July 1969, in the context of the bitter, global Cold War taking place at the time, became not only a triumph for the United States, but an accomplishment that resonated around the world.

Now that the fundraiser has raised enough funds to preserve Neil Armstrong’s suit, it’s onto the next: Alan Shephard’s Mercury suit. Shephard, the first American in space, wore the spacesuit during the first American manned space flight back in 1961.

In order to conserve, digitize and display the Mercury suit, the Smithsonian hopes to raise another $200,000 — taking the campaign’s fundraising goal from $500,000 all the way up to $700,000.

With 23 days left to go, do you think the Smithsonian will succeed in achieving its next major milestone: the preservation of the first American spacesuit in space?

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