For the first time in 13 years, Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit will be back on view at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington in mid-July as part a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
The spacesuit has been undergoing study and conservation, efforts that were funded by the Smithsonian’s first Kickstarter campaign, which raised almost $720,000 in 2015. “Reboot the Suit” — the first and most successful of the Smithsonian’s three crowdfunding efforts — also raised money for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art display case to protect the fragile suit.
The Smithsonian’s most popular museum just started a seven-year, nearly $1 billion renovation, so the spacesuit will be displayed temporarily near the Wright Flyer. Then it will be a central part of the “Destination Moon” exhibition, which is expected to open in 2022.
The museum’s commemoration of the lunar landing will run from July 16 — the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 — through July 20, the day Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the moon. Family activities will be held July 19, and on July 20, the museum will celebrate the moment the moon walk began — 10:56 p.m. Eastern time — and remain open until 2 a.m.