WASHINGTON, July 24, 2015 – In a surprise development first announced Monday, July 20, the Smithsonian has kicked off its first-ever crowdfunding campaign geared toward their effort to restore Neil Armstrong’s historic Apollo 11 spacesuit—the one he wore when he became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969.
The date of the announcement was no coincidence. July 2015 marks the 46th anniversary of the successful, pioneering American breakthrough in space exploration.
Named “Reboot the Suit,” the museum’s crowdfunding campaign is currently being waged as part of a year-long partnership with Kickstarter via that organization’s widely used fundraising platform. The goal of the campaign: to raise some $500,000 to restore Armstrong’s historic suit, a complex task that will include everything that’s required to restore and preserve the suit, such as chemical analysis, repair, restoration, 3-D scanning and digitization of images and whatever else may be required to complete the job.
The museum’s goal: to have the suit fully restored and ready to be put on public display at the Smithsonian in time to mark the 50th anniversary of America’s historic scientific and exploration breakthrough in 2019.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Smithsonian is already well on the way to achieving its goal, having raised an estimated 86 percent of its target amount by Thursday.
According to a posting by Equity Net via ZeroHedge, “Supporters of the campaign are eligible to receive rewards for their tax deductible donations ranging from digital posters to tours of the Emil Buehler Conservation Lab at the [Smithsonian’s] Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA [at Dulles Airport] to see the suit in person.”
The campaign is part of a larger Kickstarter-supported effort to integrate crowdfunding with the museum’s other fundraising efforts. Although the Smithsonian is heavily supported by the Federal government via U.S. taxpayers, government funding still only covers about 62 percent of the organization’s annual budget.