Neil Armstrong lunar archive loaned to Smithsonian

An archive of items Neil Armstrong illicitly brought back from the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission has been loaned to the Smithsonian.

The incredible collection consists of various parts from the Eagle lunar module along with the camera used to film the historic event.

Apollo Armstrong archive
Armstrong brought the collection of items back from the Moon

In a statement NASA confirmed that "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."

The existence of the set was only revealed after Armstrong's death. He reportedly kept it hidden in a bag in his wardrobe.

It's referenced in the recording of his conversation with module pilot Michael Collins after he and Aldrin arrive back on Columbia. He states: "That [is] just a bunch of trash that we want to take back — LM parts, odds and ends."

The fact the collection exists is likely to fuel speculation among collectors as to what other artefacts Armstrong may have retained from his time at NASA. This could well shake up the Armstrong memorabilia market in the years to come.

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