Just seven days into the campaign and Neil Armstrong’s suit Kickstarter raised $500k. Now, it has 22 days to go and people are still donating. But what will the Smithsonian do with the extra money? Exciting new projects, of course.
Well, seeing as in the 2 days since reaching the target it’s managed to raise an extra $43 thousand, it’s more than probable that it will raise enough money to fund another completely different project. With the money raised so far, Smithsonian says it will not only be displaying the suit in time for the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing,, which will happen 2019, but it will also make the suit the centerpiece of a completely new exhibition showcasing the evolution of the project to land a man on the Moon.
You may remember that in May, 1961, our late president John F. Kennedy set the goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. And everything went, more or less, according to plan. From the conclusion of Project Mercury with the first American to go to space, to the small step that Neil Armstrong took in 1969 on the surface of our favorite gray neighbor, we can fairly say it’s been a great ride.
And that’s exactly what the guys at the Smithsonian Institution have in mind. As they say: the accomplishment that was the Moon landing “resonated” everywhere in the world.
So, the next goal for the Kickstarter campaign is to revamp another suit. Setting the stretch goal for the money at $700,000, the Institution plans to conserve, transfer into digital, as well as display the Mercury space-suit. This is the suit worn by Alan B. Shepard on his Mercury 7 mission, the first time he went to space. And the first time any American went to space, in 1961.
The suit that Shepard wore when going to space will be just one of the many others which will be displayed in the Destination Moon exhibit which will be ruled by none-other than Armstrong’s suit. This new exhibit will be opened for the public in 2020, the Kickstarter page says in a statement by the Smithsonian published after the original goal had been reached.
Destination Moon plans not only to highlight the science behind the journey to the Moon, but also the historical and political facts behind it, including the bitter conquest between NASA and Roscosmos, aka the American space program and the Russian one, in the context of the Cold War Space Race.
Further projects will probably be kickstarted by the Smithsonian Institution after the successful funding of this one on the 19th of August. So stay tuned for more!
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