Watch: Neil Armstrong's spacesuit unveiled for public display

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By Sinead Barry  with Reuters
Watch: Neil Armstrong's spacesuit unveiled for public display
Copyright  Reuters

The spacesuit worn by Neil Armstrong on his iconic mission to the Moon went on public display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum on Tuesday.

July 16 was significant in the museum's calendar as it marked exactly 50 years since Apollo 11 launched on its trip to the moon.

The spacesuit was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Armstrong's son Rick, who revealed it with Mike Pence, vice-president of the United States.

Pence drew attention to how the moon landing in 1969 brought together in pride an America that was deeply divided.

"On top of the contributions to science and human understanding, for that brief moment, the man who wore this suit brought together our nation and the world.

"Now, true to their creed, astronauts have never liked being called heroes and the man who wore this suit was especially resistant to such labels. But if Neil Armstrong wasn't a hero, then there are no heroes," he said.

Armstrong's suit has not been open to the public for viewing for around 13 years. During this time, the spacesuit underwent extensive conservation work.

Museum objects conservator Lisa Young said that the preservation of this suit was a collaborative effort that often went unrecognised.

Among other things, its conservers interviewed the original creators and designers behind the spacesuit and researched the materials that were used.

Video editor • Christophe Pitiot