Rick and Mark Armstrong, the sons of Neil and Janet Armstrong, have donated two items from the late astronaut’s personal collection of air and space memorabilia to the Cosmosphere International Science Education Center and Space Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Hutchinson, KS.
The first item is a flown (meaning it has been in space) four-inch by six-inch, U.S. flag from the Apollo 11 mission, when Neil Armstrong became the first human being to step foot on the surface of the Moon.
The second item is a small piece of fabric from the wing of the “Wright Flyer”—the first flying machine built by the Wright brothers. The artifact also made the journey on the Apollo 11 mission and was present in the Lunar Module as the craft touched the surface of the Moon.
“When I visited the Cosmosphere in 2019, it was clearly a world-class space museum, but I didn’t see anything from Apollo 11 (mission) on exhibit, and it seemed obvious to me that they should have something from the flight,” said Rick Armstrong. “We hope these items will complement the inspirational exhibits that are already in place.”
“The Cosmosphere is honored to have been chosen as the site for these notable artifacts to be displayed,” said Jim Remar, Cosmosphere President and CEO. “These two items are significant pieces of space history and we’re excited to share their story.”
The donated Armstrong items will go on display in the Hall of Space Museum in 2020, though exact timing and placement are still being determined.