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Want to help save this very famous spacesuit?

The suits weren’t meant to last forever – which is why the Smithsonian wants to conserve this one.

THE US NATIONAL Air and Space Museum has launched a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon.

The campaign began today, marking 46 years since Armstrong’s moonwalk in 1969. Conservators say spacesuits were built for short-term use with materials that break down over time.

The museum aims to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to conserve the spacesuit, build a climate-controlled display case and digitise the spacesuit with 3D scanning.

So far, people have pledged almost $4,500 of the $500k goal, with 29 days to go.

ca1f071f274864de1c010d1bf3df0974_original Source: Kickstarter/The Smithsonian

Armstrong’s spacesuit is deteriorating and hasn’t been displayed since 2006. The museum plans to display it for the 50th anniversary of Armstrong’s moonwalk. Later, the suit will be a centerpiece in “Destination Moon,” a gallery opening in 2020.

Why is it so important to conserve the suit? The museum explains:

You may be surprised to learn that spacesuits are among the most fragile artifacts in the Museum’s collection. The Apollo suits were made to take astronauts to the Moon and back safely — not to last hundreds of years in a museum.

It says that it might not be obvious to the naked eye that the suit has been conserved, but even the lunar dust that coats it will be preserved.

The Smithsonian formed a partnership with Kickstarter for a series of crowdfunded projects. The spacesuit is the first.

- Additional reporting Aoife Barry

Read: Here are the bizarre items that Neil Armstrong nicked from the moon>

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Associated Press

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