The Smithsonian is taking one giant leap into the world of online fundraising.
The National Air and Space Museum has launched its first ever Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising money to restore the suit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon in July 1969.
“The materials are starting to show signs of degradation,” said Smithsonian Institution curator Lisa Young.
Up close you can see frayed Velcro, life support connectors pulling on fabric, and holes in plain sight.
The Smithsonian is teaming up with Kickstarter for a 30-day campaign to raise the $500,000 needed to fix Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit. It hasn't been on display since 2006.
The Smithsonian has a $1.3 billion budget, but only 64% comes from federal funds. They’ve turned to private donors in the past, but Kickstarter allows everyone to kick in.
“You can give as little as a dollar and be able to stay with us through the project,” said Alison Mitchell with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
If all goes as planned, Armstrong’s suit will be back on display in time for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 in 2019.