To the moon…and back again

To commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing on the moon, the Air and Space Museum will display the rarely seen space helmet and gloves worn by Neil Armstrong. Bonus! Cool 3D images of the lunar module.


Astronauts with flag in the shadow of the lunar module

The deployment of the U.S. flag on the surface of the moon is captured on film during the first Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, July 20, 1969, Here, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, stands on the left at the flag’s staff with Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, on the right. (NASA photo)

The fragile artifacts, which recently underwent conservation, will be on display at the museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. for one year, beginning today.The lunar extravehicular gloves and helmet have been to the surface of the Moon, have traveled the world and are symbols of the accomplishments and achievements of mankind.

An estimated 500 million people watched as Apollo 11 achieved President Kennedy’s goal of a human landing on the Moon, and Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin, stepped onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

The Smithsonian is also making available a high resolution 3D scan of the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia. Two highly detailed models allow anyone with an Internet connection to explore the entire craft, including its intricate interior, a feat not possible when viewing the artifact on display. View exterior. View interior.

Armstrong’s complete Apollo 11 spacesuit will go on display in time for the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in 2019. As part of the conservation and archival efforts, the Air and Space Museum is asking the public for photos of the spacesuit on display during its national tour beginning in 1970, the gloves and helmet on later tours, and the spacesuit on display at the Smithsonian between 1971 and 2006. Conservators and curators will use the photos as reference materials for the project. To submit photos or find out more, contact the Museum at ArmstrongSuit@si.edu.

Exhibit case with spacesuit, gloves and helmet

View of exhibit “Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Visor and Gloves,” featuring flown Apollo A-7L spacesuit extravehicular visor and gloves in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Va.
Photo by Dane Penland / National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Posted: 20 July 2016
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