The spacesuit astronaut Neil Armstrong wore throughout his presence on the moon went on public display for the first time in 13 years on Tuesday, at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum precisely 50 years to the day when Apollo 11 sent into space.
Armstrong’s son Rick revealed the suit along with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who recollected how the nation was deeply divided in the late sixties; however, got together in pride when Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.
“On top of the contributions to human and scientific understanding, for that very brief moment, the person who wore this suit brought together our nation and the world,” Pence stated.
Armstrong’s suit was put on display for about 30 years at the Smithsonian before it was taken down in 2006 as a result of curators were concerned about decay.
For over a decade, the suit has been subject to conservation work, which held interviews with the designers and creators of the spacesuit and analysis into the materials used.
“The complexity of the suit ensured it could assist human life in the most ungrateful of environments: extreme heat and cold, micrometeorites, radiation and the specter of cuts from sharp rocks all had to be considered,” Ellen Stofan, the Washington museum’s director, said at the show.
While the real boots worn by the Apollo 11 astronauts were left on the moon because of weight considerations, the Smithsonian does have the shoes worn by astronauts on Apollo 17 which were brought again to Earth.
Thousands of public donations sponsored conservation work. Additional funds have been raised to preserve the spacesuit of astronaut Michael Collins, who tagged Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Apollo 11 mission.