For the first time in its history, the Smithsonian is launching a save the spacesuit Kickstarter campaign, aiming to preserve the suit that walked upon the moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” were the famous words uttered 46 years ago by national hero Neil Armstrong.
They inspired the world and became a beacon in our history worldwide, reminding us that limitations are only barriers humankind is meant to break. But now, it’s mankind’s turn to make a step for one man, to donate and contain the spacesuit worn when humanity first landed on the moon.
The Smithsonian Institution has partnered up with online fundraising website Kickstarter for the first time in order to raise money that would provide enough funds to keep Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit in proper conditions. It has not been on display since 2006 and it has been deteriorating throughout the years, never meant to last this long in the first place.
What was deemed the “crown jewel” of the National Air and Space Museum will require restorations and a special case that will control its own climate to prevent the fabric from degenerating through time. And hopefully return to display in 2020.
The funds estimated to be needed for the conservation, digitization and proper exhibition of Neil Armstrong’s historic spacesuit are of $500,000 to be raised by the public within the standards Kickstarter tradition. The project, #RebootTheSuit will have one month, starting today, to reached its intended target, otherwise all money will be returned to the potential donors.
While asking for funds from private donors is nothing new for the Smithsonian, whose annual budget is of approximately $1.3 billion, this will allow the general population, history buffs and astronomy fans to contribute and help keep safe a piece of our history.
Supporters of the project will become eligible to win awards in lieu of their donations, such as a digitized poster of the spacesuit, a more sought after 3D print of Armstrong’s glove that went with the suit or the distinguished possibility of going behind the scenes at one of the most culturally and historically rich museums in the world.
It’s not a piece of treasure for just one generation, or two or three. It’s an icon for all future generations to come, an invaluable artifact to preserve and link us to all who will follow when mankind delves deeper into the exploration of outer space. When our children’s children could look upon it and say “That’s how it started.”.
Image source: motherboard.vice.com
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