The venerable Smithsonian Institute has taken to crowd funding in order to “conserve, digitize, and display” the NASA space suit Neil Armstrong wore when he became the first human to set foot on another planet.
Pegged to the looming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 2019, the Kickstarter, which aims to raise half a million dollars, is said to be the first of many in partnership with the popular crowd-funding platform. While the federally supported museum does have an annual budget—last year it asked Congress for $810 million—the cost of preserving the suit isn’t included in its funding.
With more than $275,000 raised in just a few days, supporters’ hearts and imaginations seem to have been captured by rewards that include a file for the 3-D print of your own copy of Armstrong’s glove, exclusive museum events, and the chance to see the suit in person inside the climate controlled conservation lab. Oh, yeah, and donations are tax deductible, too.