Sunday, February 8, 2015

Armstrong's treasure of Apollo 11 artifacts found

Neil Armstrong's "McDivitt Bag," filled with priceless souvenirs of the July 1969 first manned expedition to the lunar surface, has been disclosed to the Smithsonian Institute by his widow. Among them, the 16mm DAC camera that captured the landing from the starboard window.
Jesus Diaz

These are the contents of a mysterious white bag found hidden in Neil Armstrong's closet: Weird looking lamps, wrenches, utility brackets, sights, and a film camera that later was identified as the one that captured the famous Apollo 11's descent on the Moon's surface. Nobody knew about it, including his widow.

According to NASA, Carol Armstrong sent photos to Allan Needell, curator of the Apollo collection at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, who immediately knew what was inside: It was a McDivitt Purse full of parts from the Eagle, Apollo 11's Lunar Module:

After Neil Armstrong's death, his widow, Carol, discovered a white cloth bag in a closet, containing what were obviously either flight or space related artifacts. She contacted Allan Needell, curator of the Apollo collection at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, and provided photographs of the items. Needell, who immediately realized that the bag—known to the astronauts as the Purse - and its contents could be hardware from the Apollo 11 mission, asked the authors for support in identifying and documenting the flight history and purpose of these artifacts. After some research it became apparent that the purse and its contents were lunar surface equipment carried in the Lunar Module Eagle during the epic journey of Apollo 11.

These artifacts are among the very few Apollo 11 flown items brought back from Tranquility Base and, thus, are of priceless historical value. Of utmost importance is the 16mm movie camera with its 10mm lens.

The on-board 16 mm film camera, with which the landing, first steps, and take off of the lunar module Eagle from Mare Tranquillitatis were filmed, has been unearthed in a bag of similarly priceless small artifacts of the epic mission found in Neil Armstrong's closet in Ohio.
The camera was mounted behind the right forward window of the lunar module and was used to film the final phase of the descent to the lunar surface, the landing, as well as Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's activities on the lunar surface including taking the first samples of lunar soil and planting the US flag.

Still from the Apollo 11 16mm DAC film camera shows Armstrong (with visor up) taking his initial, halting steps out onto Mare Tranquillitatis, still tethered to the spacecraft.
Thanks to the Neil Armstrong family, the Apollo 11 purse and its contents are now on loan at the National Air and Space Museum for preservation, research and eventual public display.

Here's a list of everything inside and how it looked inside and outside the Eagle:

Read the full article at sploid.gizmodo, HERE.

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