Of Little Details And Lunar Dust: Preserving Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Spacesuit
Npr.org - Thu 11 Jul 11:53 GMT

Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit is about to go back on public display after a Smithsonian effort to preserve it. The effort wasn't to make it pristine. Lunar dust still covers the boots.

  Of Little Details And Lunar Dust: Preserving Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Spacesuit Don't see the video above?

  "The suit itself is an engineering marvel," says Malcolm Collum, the chief conservator for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

  Collum and his team of technicians have had the job of getting Armstrong's spacesuit standing tall and back on public view again.

  Collum and his team at the Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian outpost a few miles outside of Washington, cleaned and repaired the inside and outside of the spacesuit, then fitted it to a specially designed mannequin and placed it in a temperature-controlled case.

  The suit goes back on display at the Air and Space Museum in Washington on July 16, the day 50 years ago that Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon.

  There was not much that could be done to repair the damage, but technicians were able to slow the deterioration by creating a specially designed mannequin that channels a constant stream of fresh air throughout the suit.

  In 1994, on the 25th anniversary of his stroll through that dust, Armstrong wrote a letter to the team that created his spacesuit.