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Neil Armstrong's Moon Landing Suit Is Decaying, Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Preserve it

21/07/2015 11:22 BST | Updated 21/07/2015 12:59 BST

The Smithsonian Museum has a problem, and that problem is that one of our most treasured relics from history could soon be lost to the damaging effects of time.

neil armstrong

The spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore to the Moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission is decaying, slowly, but enough that unless serious conservation work is carried out, it could be lost forever.

To prevent this from happening, the museum has started a Kickstarter campaign to not only get the Apollo 11 suit repaired but to also to provide the suit with a permanent position out in public for everyone to see.

At present the suit is being kept out of the public domain in a specially air-controlled storage room, the Smithsonian understandably wants this to change.

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Sadly while the US's Federal budget covers the running of the museum, it doesn't actually stretch to individual projects like this, forcing the museum to either find sponsors or in this case turn to crowd-funding for the first time.

If the Smithsonian can get the $500,000 it needs the museum will be able to fully conserve the suit to a level that hasn't yet been seen.

"The research and documentation we do now will literally write the book on the proper techniques for spacesuit conservation for every suit in our collection. Along the way, we’ll be consulting with those who contributed to making the suit and its materials, those who cared for it during the Apollo program, and materials experts throughout the world. Research, meetings, and mastering new techniques take time."

Finally once restored, the museum will digitise the entire suit into 3D so in future students, experts and researchers will be able to view a virtual recreation of the suit.

At the moment the campaign is at $164,523 with 28 days to go.