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Author Topic:   Natl Air and Space: Neil Armstrong spacesuit
Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2015 04:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Smithsonian launches Kickstarter to 'reboot' Neil Armstrong spacesuit display

The Smithsonian launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign on Monday (July 20) in an effort to preserve, conserve and display the spacesuit that Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong wore while becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

The Washington, DC institution inaugurated a multi-project partnership with the crowdfunding website Kickstarter with "Reboot the Suit," a campaign to raise $500,000 to digitize and exhibit Armstrong's spacesuit at the National Air and Space Museum in time for the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing mission in 2019. The fundraising effort began 46 years to the day after Armstrong's historic "small step" on July 20, 1969.

"This is the crown jewel of our collection," Cathleen Lewis, who as curator oversees the spacesuits at the National Air and Space Museum, told collectSPACE. "Kickstarter is a very new and innovative way to go for the Smithsonian. We haven't done anything like this before."

lucspace
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posted 07-20-2015 05:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lucspace   Click Here to Email lucspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great initiative! Had no idea the suit wasn't on display... Put in my pledge; counter now at just over $500!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2015 05:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The work on Armstrong's suit may also pave the way for more of the National Air and Space Museum's spacesuit collection to return on display, as curator Cathleen Lewis said in our interview:
This will be the suit of reference. We're hoping that once we do it for this suit, we'll find ways to do it quicker and more efficiently for the rest of the suits in our collection.

We hope we will be able to increase the number of suits that we have on loan to other museums for display through this process, because we will be minimizing the difference in conditions from storage to display, and that is our greatest hope.

We're taking the next steps. Bringing those storage conditions out for the public to enjoy. So we won't have as many suits in storage — we'll have many, many more we're hoping on display so that people can appreciate the incredible machines these spacesuits are.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2015 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lucspace:
...counter now at just over $500!
Four hours later and already over $15,000!

onesmallstep
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posted 07-20-2015 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully Aldrin (and Collins) won't be overlooked at the 50th anniversary exhibit. A side-by-side display of both moonwalkers' suits, plus some of the items found in the 'Armstrong purse' would make it a must-see.

aneedell
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posted 07-20-2015 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for aneedell   Click Here to Email aneedell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by onesmallstep:
Hopefully Aldrin (and Collins) won't be overlooked at the 50th anniversary exhibit.
Our plan is to always have one A11 lunar suit in controlled storage and alternate them on display. Plan is to display the entire contents of Armstrong's purse. Aldrin and Collins will get detailed treatment in Destination Moon.

As for the 50th anniversary, we have ambitious plans. Depending on the success of this and other funding efforts we are committed to meet our responsibility to lead an appropriate and meaningful national discussion. Stay tuned.

------------------
Allan Needell
Space History Division
National Air and Space Museum

mode1charlie
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posted 07-20-2015 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Backed!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2015 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With more than 1,250 backers, "Reboot the Suit" just passed $100,000:
Kickstarter Backers, we're all dancing the moon walk because of you! We've soared to $100,000 in one day — and on the anniversary of Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon. What a way to commemorate this historic day!

Please help us get even closer to our goal by sharing this project with your friends and family. We want everyone to have the chance to be part of bringing back Neil Armstrong's spacesuit!

MarylandSpace
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posted 07-20-2015 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did see a Washington, DC TV segment about Neil Armstrong's suit and Kickstarter. Suit shows some some of the kapton underlayer due to fraying.

Imagine if each collectSPACE member could donate $10 to the preservation of this iconic piece of American history. Count me in!

holcombeyates
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posted 07-21-2015 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for holcombeyates   Click Here to Email holcombeyates     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The plan to "Reboot the Suit" and renovate Neil Armstrong's suit is a great plan. I hope that the same happens to all other flown suits.

Does anyone know if the patches and name tags on Neil's suit are original?

I understand that it was practice (certainly for later missions as they have appeared at auction) to present the astronaut with the flown patches and name tag on returning from the mission.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 07-21-2015 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not entirely sure they want to renovate the suit, merely conserve it while at the same time making it more accessible in one format or another.

It is my understanding the inner bladder is pretty shot and to renovate the suit would require pretty drastic intervention.

holcombeyates
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posted 07-21-2015 06:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for holcombeyates   Click Here to Email holcombeyates     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good point - I was lazy with my terminology.

I believe that the bladders are pretty much shot in all of the Apollo lunar EVA suits with the exception of Jack Schmitt's which can still hold pressure.

I saw one of Armstrong's flown beta cloth jump suits on display in Silver Hill circa fall of 1993 — anyone know where it went?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2015 06:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Armstrong's Apollo 11 inflight coveralls are still part of the National Air and Space Museum collection: jacket and trousers.
quote:
Originally posted by holcombeyates:
Does anyone know if the patches and name tags on Neil's suit are original?
Yes, they are the flown patches. The Apollo 11 crew were offered their patches like the later crews, but declined, choosing instead to leave their suits intact as used on the mission.

onesmallstep
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posted 07-21-2015 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good that they chose to leave the patches/name tags on their suits. Just curious: if the Kickstarter campaign exceeds the museum's goal, will the 'extra' funding be used to refurbish/conserve/maintain other artifacts for exhibits on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2015 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the museum has planned for "stretch goals" beyond the initial $500,000. Curator Cathleen Lewis explains:
"Our stretch goals will directly contribute to the 'Destination Moon' project. There will be additional scanning and research that will be dedicated to objects — first of all spacesuits — that will also be in the 'Destination' gallery."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2015 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now past $200,000 with more than 3,000 backers!

MarylandSpace
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posted 07-21-2015 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's show our collectSPACE spirit!

You can spare $11 to an iconic American space artifact.

I donated my $11, what about you? Just do it.

328KF
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posted 07-21-2015 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just pledged and the project had reached almost $240,000 on the second day... that's impressive.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2015 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$250,000 raised!
It's about 250,000 miles to the moon and 250,000 miles back to earth. We're halfway to a complete journey. A BIG THANKS to the thousands of you who believe in this mission.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2015 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More than $300,000 from 4,100 backers!

ejectr
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posted 07-22-2015 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm in... Done!

Ade74
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posted 07-23-2015 03:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ade74   Click Here to Email Ade74     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Donated too...!

Solarplexus
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posted 07-23-2015 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Solarplexus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Increased from $11 to $20... done. Then I also get a cling-on decal from Smithsonian in mail.

AlanC
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posted 07-23-2015 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlanC   Click Here to Email AlanC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ditto.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-24-2015 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With more than 6,000 backers, the Smithsonian's Reboot the Suit campaign has been funded! $500,000 and counting, with 25 more days to go...
In the time it took the Apollo 11 crew to land on the Moon and return safely back to Earth, we have accomplished our goal thanks to your phenomenal response and passionate belief in our mission. We can't wait to get to work on Neil Armstrong's spacesuit and bring it back to the Museum, to the world, and most of all, to you. The journey now extends towards further, exciting destinations. Please check our Project Page to find out about our "Stretch Goals."
The campaign is now aiming for another $200,000 ($700,000 in total) to conserve, digitize, and display the Mercury suit Alan Shepard wore during the first American manned spaceflight in 1961.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-27-2015 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Armstrong spacesuit funded, Smithsonian takes next 'giant leap' on Kickstarter

The Smithsonian's first-ever crowdfunding campaign to conserve, digitize and display astronaut Neil Armstrong's lunar spacesuit has rocketed to success and is now stretching to "reboot" other space history artifacts in the national collection.

The Washington institution's "Reboot the Suit" fundraising campaign soared beyond its $500,000 goal on Friday (July 24), just four days after being launched on the Kickstarter website. The sum, which represents pledges by more than 6,000 backers, was achieved 46 years to the day after the Armstrong suit (and the astronaut) splashed down back on Earth following the historic 1969 moonwalk.

"In the time it took the Apollo 11 crew to land on the moon and return safely back to Earth, we've accomplished our goal thanks to your phenomenal response and passionate belief in our mission," the curators and conservators at the National Air and Space Museum wrote on Kickstarter. "We can't wait to get to work on Neil Armstrong's spacesuit and bring it back to the museum, to the world, and most of all, to you."

MrSpace86
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posted 07-27-2015 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shepard's suit is not on display either?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-27-2015 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alan Shepard's Mercury spacesuit has been on loan to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History since 2008, where it is currently on display.

The "Reboot the Suit" campaign's stretch goal will supports its move back to the National Air and Space Museum for inclusion in the "Destination Moon" exhibit, as well as its conservation and digital scan.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-02-2015 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Smithsonian Kickstarter update
Half-Way Through Our Stretch Goal!

We've reached the $600K mark! That's $100K more than our original goal of $500K and half-way to our "stretch" goal of $700K. Our target to conserve, digitize and display Alan Shepard's Mercury spacesuit is getting closer.

A huge THANKS to everyone for helping us get here! It's great to see that over 7,700 have backed our project and that you've shared it with your friends. Along with Neil Armstrong's story, you are helping us tell the story of the first American in space and the suit he wore during the first American manned space flight in 1961.

Would you please help us stay on course through this important mission? Please keep sharing and telling your friends about #RebootTheSuit! SHARE our project on Facebook and/or RETWEET. Thanks so much!

To celebrate this milestone, our brilliant 2015 summer interns at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum proudly present this fun mockumentary. Uhm, but Cathy Lewis, our Curator of International Space Programs and Spacesuits, may not be all that amused.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-05-2015 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today would have been Neil Armstrong's 85th birthday. The Smithsonian marked the date with this video as part of its Reboot the Suit campaign:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-18-2015 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Smithsonian update
$700,000 Stretch Goal Reached at T-17 Hours!

Thank you to our 9,122 backers!

Thanks to all of you, we did it! $700,000 reached with 17 hours to go! We hope you are as proud as we are to be a part of this mission.

If you have friends who want to join this journey and/or want access to our exclusive rewards, please tell them it's not too late. There's still 17 hours to go to gain access to unique items and experiences such as Mike Okuda's mission patch, the ILC Dover spacesuit factory tour, and the video tour of the conservation process.

Neil Armstrong's and Alan Shepard's spacesuits will now be conserved, digitized and displayed in the upcoming Destination Moon exhibition. You will help us tell the enthralling story of the human quest to explore the moon. Pledges that come in beyond the stretch goal of $700,000 will go towards the Destination Moon exhibition.

Joel Katzowitz
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posted 08-18-2015 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's very cool that over 9000 people contributed to make this happen...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2017 07:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Air and Space Museum "Reboot the Suit" update
A Case for Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit

Wow! How time flies. Today not only marks the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, but it also marks two years since you and a community of more than 9,000 backers from around the world came together to help the Smithsonian conserve, digitize, and display Neil Armstrong's and Alan Shepard's spacesuits. We remain as grateful for all of you today as we did when we first set off on our bold mission!

We're just crossing the mid-point of our project. Neil Armstrong's spacesuit will go back on display in two years, in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Today, we're excited to report that we now have a display case design for the suit!

Why is the display case for Neil Armstrong's spacesuit so special?

Lisa Young, Objects Conservator at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, has spent almost two decades researching the ideal conditions for the complex combinations of materials that comprise our suits, and therefore what will be required in the new display case.

The conditions inside the sealed glass case will replicate our ideal storage conditions as closely as possible, allowing us to preserve the Apollo suit while sharing it with the public.

The primary material of the case will be museum glass, providing the visitors with a clear view of three sides of the suit — the front, back and left side. The light will be at a low level to avoid the cumulative damage that prolonged light exposure can have on textiles.

Many features of the case will be obvious, but some, though equally important, are unseen. The inner workings of the case will help us come close to replicating the best storage conditions possible for this precious artifact. The case will house a climate system that will maintain the cool, dry environment that is so essential to preserving our spacesuit collection. As an added preservation measure, the case will pass conditioned air through a "chemical scavenger" that will remove the byproducts of chemical off-gassing from the case, further slowing the process of degradation.

Above: Rendering of the proposed design for the Neil Armstrong spacesuit display. (National Air and Space Museum)

Constructing Display Mounts

You'll notice that in the rendering above, the suit seems to be standing on its own. That's the magic that Adam Bradshaw, Exhibits Specialist, is working on right now—creating a display mount that is both rigorous enough to hold the weight of the suit while delicate enough to cause no further damage on the interior of the suit when it is being inserted. Adam is currently working on prototypes for these support structures.

Display Details

Behind the suit on the rear pane of glass will be a full-scale transparency of an x-ray of the suit. This high-resolution cross section of Armstrong's suit will allow everyone to marvel at the complexities of this machine that allowed the first humans to explore another world. The ventilation tubes, communications and life support wiring and complex restraint systems that make the suit work will be plain to see, as will many of the suit layers.

The accompanying labels on each side of the case will describe Armstrong's life, his work at NASA, the first steps on the Moon and the efforts that the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has made to preserve this marvelous object and share it with the world.

When can I see it at the Museum?

This case and design will debut at the museum in July 2019 in the Wright Brothers gallery with Armstrong's suit inside for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The case and the suit will eventually move down the hall to its permanent home, joining the Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia" and the museum's rich collection of Moon exploration artifacts, in the Destination Moon gallery.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-28-2017 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Smithsonian Magazine describes some of the innovations being applied to conserve Neil Armstrong's spacesuit.
...to minimize further damage — say, by shoving in ill-fitting foam inserts — curators need to know every nook and cranny. Given its delicate state, they did not want to reach into it and grope around. The only openings are from the neck and a very small hole in the waist. Instead, the curators rolled the suit into a computed tomography (CT) scanner and gathered the most explicit details — from the inside out.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-18-2019 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Air and Space Museum release
Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit will go on display July 16, 2019 for the first time in 13 years.

It will be temporarily displayed near the 1903 Wright Flyer until its future home, the "Destination Moon" exhibition, is completed in approximately 2022.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-01-2019 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the National Air and Space Museum on Twitter:
Who wants to see brand-new photos of Neil Armstrong's spacesuit?

Our conservation of Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit is complete, and we are excited to finally release brand new photography of the suit. It will go back on display for the first time in over a decade on July 16, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11.

Thank you to the nearly 10,000 backers who supported our #ReboottheSuit Kickstarter and made it possible for us to conserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit, and put it back on display, in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

dsenechal
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posted 05-01-2019 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dsenechal   Click Here to Email dsenechal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonderful pictures of an iconic artifact.

Are the EVA Visor and EVA gloves Neil's original flight articles that went to the moon? I was under the impression that they had remained on the lunar surface.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-01-2019 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, those are Armstrong's flown LEVA assembly and EVA gloves.

(He would have needed at least the gloves had there been a problem docking the lunar module to the command module, or opening the hatch between the two, necessitating he and Aldrin to perform a spacewalk to transfer to the command module.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-16-2019 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit is now back on display at Smithsonian

Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit has returned to display, 13 years after the Smithsonian removed it from exhibit and 50 years to the day — and nearly the very minute — that it lifted off on the historic first moon landing mission.

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. revealed the Apollo 11 astronaut's A7L pressure garment, helmet assembly and gloves at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) Tuesday (July 16), just 32 minutes shy of the 50th anniversary of its Saturn V rocket launch.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-18-2019 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Air and Space Museum photo release
The three spacesuits worn by the Apollo 11 astronauts on their historic mission to the moon. Left to right, are the suits of Edwin E. Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil A. Armstrong together in the Emil Buehler Conservation Lab at National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, June 28, 2019.


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