Smithsonian Celebrates Anniversary of Moon Landing with Neil Armstrong Display

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is making one giant leap for visitors with its display of the gloves and helmet worn by Neil Armstrong when he became the first man to walk on the moon.

In honor of the landing’s 47th anniversary, the museum will display Armstrong’s gloves and helmet for 12 months at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.

“This is just a teaser of what’s to come in three years,” said Cathleen Lewis, curator of the museum’s international space programs and spacesuits. “It’s giving the public a status report of what we’ve done so far, what we’ve learned and what we hope to find out in the future.”

Armstrong’s gloves and helmet are only the beginning for future space exhibits. Armstrong’s full suit will be on display for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019. In 2020, the “Destination Moon” exhibit will feature the full space suit, along with other artifacts, like the Apollo 11 command module Columbia.

Last July, the museum began a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign called “Reboot the Suit” in an effort to conserve Armstrong’s spacesuit. The effort raised its initial target of $500,000 in just five days. The final amount raised — $719,779 — was more than enough to cover costs for the suit’s conservation and display.

Armstrong’s gloves and helmet are only the beginning for future space exhibits. Armstrong’s full suit will be on display for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019. In 2020, the “Destination Moon” exhibit will feature the full space suit, along with other artifacts, like the Apollo 11 command module Columbia.

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