Smithsonian increases goal for spacesuit crowdfunding effort

This handout photo provided by the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution shows the spacesuit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969. The National Air and Space Museum is launching a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon. The campaign begins Monday, 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 digitize the spacesuit with 3D scanning. (Eric Long/National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution via AP)

By The Associated Press | 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Air and Space Museum has increased its goal for a crowdfunding campaign to conserve the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon and now hopes to raise $700,000.

The campaign began Monday on Kickstarter and met its initial $500,000 goal within five days. As of Saturday, the campaign raised about $525,000.

Now the museum hopes to raise more money to conserve Alan Shepard’s Mercury spacesuit. The museum aims to conserve, digitize and display Shepard’s suit. Shepard made the first American manned space flight in 1961.

The Smithsonian has partnered with Kickstarter for a series of crowdfunding projects. The spacesuit effort is the first, and it will run for 24 more days.

Armstrong’s spacesuit will be displayed temporarily in 2019 and in a new exhibit planned for 2020.