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Neil Armstrong's Moon Space Suit Is Deteriorating

Plastic And Neoprene Components Are Becoming Brittle And Degrading

The space suit that Neil Armstrong wore on the historic Apollo 11 moon mission is falling apart, and while its custodians at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum are trying to preserve it, the suit is showing its age.

The main culprit is a layer of neoprene embedded in the fabric of the suit. Neoprene is the material that is used to make wetsuits, and over time it hardens and becomes brittle.

CNet cites a report in the New York Times which indicates that the Smithsonian took the suit off display 12 years ago in an effort to preserve the historic artifact. They have managed to slow the aging process, but not stop it.

There are 21 layers of fabric, including nylon and Teflon, that make up the suit. The Smithsonian did not respond to CNet's request for a comment and an explanation of what measures are being taken to preserve the suit.

(NASA image)

FMI: Source report

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