Treasure Trove of Objects from Apollo 11 Lunar Expedition Found in Neil Armstrong’s Closet

The bag, containing priceless items, that Carol Armstrong found the closet
Photo via: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington

This was no ordinary spring-cleaning. While doing a clear-out in a closet in their Cincinnati home, the widow of Neil Armstrong came across a priceless collection of items from the first moon landing.

Armstrong, who died in August 2012, participated in the historical Apollo 11 1969 lunar expedition, becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

The objects that Carol Armstrong found include the 16mm camera that was mounted on the window of the Eagle lunar module to record the landing and Armstrong’s first step in the moon, as well as the waist tether he used to support himself.

After discovering the items, which were stashed in a white cloth bag, Carol donated them to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. “Needless to say, for a curator of a collection of space artifacts, it is hard to imagine anything more exciting,” Allan Needell, curator from the Space History Department, wrote on the museum’s blog.

Needell also explained that the bag and its contents are actually referenced in the transcripts from the mission. In them, Armstrong is recorded saying to his expedition colleague Michael Collins: “You know, that—that one’s just a bunch of trash that we want to take back—LM parts, odds and ends, and it won’t stay closed by itself. We’ll have to figure something out for it.”

The items have remained unseen during the 45 years since Armstrong returned from the mission. The camera and one of the tethers are already on display at the museum.

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