Neil Armstrong’s 1969 spacesuit needs your help

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – One giant leap for mankind can be preserved with one tiny step. The National Air and Space Museum is starting a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon.

The campaign kicked off today, marking 46 years since the famous moonwalk in 1969. According to conservators, the spacesuits were built for short-term use only with material that is expected to break down over time. The museum is hoping to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to conserve the spacesuit. The money will go towards building a climate-controlled display case and digitizing the spacesuit with 3-D scanning.

The spacesuit is the first of a series of crowdfunded projects that Kickstarter and the Smithsonian are working on together. Armstrong's suit has not been displayed since 2006 due to deterioration, and the museum hopes to display it for the 50th anniversary of the historic moonwalk. Eventually the suit will be a focal point in "Destination Moon," a gallery opening in the year 2020.