|"Buzz" Aldrin Jr. standing on the Moon, Source: NASA|
On July 21, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Apollo 11 spacecraft and became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface. On July 20, 2015, the Smithsonian announced a Kickstarter campaign called Reboot the Suit. Right now, all the spacesuits used in NASA missions are being stored in a climate-controlled storage area, away from the public. And they're not doing too well. As the Smithsonian explained, "You may be surprised to learn that spacesuits are among the most fragile artifacts in the Museum’s collection. The Apollo suits were made to take astronauts to the Moon and back safely -- not to last hundreds of years in a museum."
The Smithsonian wants to save the suit. Not just save it, but make it the classic piece of history that it deserves, and even make it better. They want to carefully preserve it, right down to the lunar dust still clinging to its surface. Here's an infographic of some of the work they want to do, courtesy of the Smithsonian:
The museum gets federal funding to maintain its collection, but not for a project like this. They need $500,000 to start and complete the project in time for the fiftieth anniversary in 2019. Here's the plan: "The suit will be put on display at the Museum in Washington, DC, in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in 2019. The suit will eventually be permanently displayed as a centerpiece in the future Destination Moon exhibition, a completely redesigned and updated gallery that will bring the exciting story of lunar exploration to a new generation. In addition to the Armstrong spacesuit, Destination Moon will feature several other significant artifacts, including a huge Moon mural painted by the famous space artist Chesley Bonestell in 1957, the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule in which Alan Shepard became the first American in space, the Gemini 7 spacecraft, the giant F-1 rocket engine, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, parts of the Apollo Mission Simulator, and many small artifacts. The exhibition will also display the Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter spacecraft currently hanging elsewhere in the Museum, and at least one other robotic spacecraft from a more recent mission."
|Artist's rendering of Destination Moon 2019; Source: Smithsonian|
Click here to go to the Kickstarter page. Even a dollar would make a difference towards a goal that would make geeks a part of history.
What do you think of the project? Would you contribute?
About the Author - Nigel G. Mitchell earned a Bachelor's in English from Arizona State University in 1999. In addition to writing for The Geek Twins, his short stories have been published in Lost Worlds, 365 Tomorrows, and Black Hole Magazine. His latest novel is Seizure.
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