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Space & Astronomy

Armstrong's secret Apollo stash discovered

February 9, 2015 | Comment icon 31 comments



Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on another world. Image Credit: NASA
A bag filled with items brought back from the Apollo 11 mission has been found in Neil Armstrong's house.
The widow of the legendary astronaut, who died back in 2012, discovered the white bag hidden away at the back of a closet. Inside was a collection of miscellaneous objects including metal clips, netting, mirrors and an old 80mm Hasselblad camera.

Thought to have been left on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the objects had actually been recovered by Armstrong and stored inside the bag, known as a McDivitt purse, where he had kept them hidden from everyone for 46 years.
The bag and its contents, which may still contain traces of lunar soil from the original mission, are set to be put up on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Armstrong had even mentioned the bag himself once just before leaving the moon's surface.

"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," he said.

Source: New York Daily News | Comments (31)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by maximusnow 8 years ago
If your bringing back items from the lunar surface as a keepsake, why not rocks and soil? That is like capturing a bigfoot, and just bringing the ropes back home to show every one?
Comment icon #23 Posted by KevinP 8 years ago
That's a hard one to guess at really, Armstrong did do some magazine ads as I recall, and one can only assume it sort of had him set. He had a good job which he continued to teach at until just before his death. Granted, he could have sold the stuff and very likely made a tidy sum from them, however there is no indication that he was ever in any serious financial straits, so I think after a certain point they were simply momentos really. After a time they probably just became a bag of stuff from his last mission. I doubt that he really forgot about them, as he retained them. I think if he'd wa... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by KevinP 8 years ago
If your bringing back items from the lunar surface as a keepsake, why not rocks and soil? That is like capturing a bigfoot, and just bringing the ropes back home to show every one? They did bring back rocks and soil, 47.15 Lbs to be exact.
Comment icon #25 Posted by stevemagegod 8 years ago
He should of smuggled some Moon Rocks with him.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
He should of smuggled some Moon Rocks with him. Not saying he couldn't have but if memory serves, everything was pretty tightly controlled re. extra weight at liftoff. Nothing in his bag was an additional item but rocks would be. Rocks would be a major scandal, however, and this would be a much bigger deal for sure!
Comment icon #27 Posted by Izees 8 years ago
So, he was right to hide his priceless souvenirs from others http://www.theonion.com/articles/neil-armstrongs-wife-glad-to-finally-get-rid-of-al,29692/
Comment icon #28 Posted by bee 8 years ago
. you know - he was probably given the camera (etc) as a memento of the Moon trip... that's what I'm thinking now - that he wasn't hiding the things - more - storing them (then kind of forgetting about them or thinking they would go to a museum when he died and it was found -) As he died of complications after surgery - he probably expected to survive but then didn't - so even if he remembered the mementos he wouldn't feel a pressing need to tell his wife where he had put them..? I mentioned Edgar Mitchells 'bother' with a camera not so long ago (when he wanted to sell it but then nearly got s... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by maximusnow 8 years ago
They did bring back rocks and soil, 47.15 Lbs to be exact. Yes, but not for his hidden stash.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 years ago
Going Through Neil Armstrong's PurseCurator Allan Needell and object conservator Lisa Young explore the contents of a bag retained by astronaut Neil Armstrong after his historic Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969. The bag, referred to as the McDivitt Purse, was found in Armstrong's closet by his wife shortly after his death in 2012. Inside were items used in the Lunar Module while on the surface of the Moon. Working together to examine physical evidence on the items and review historic records, Needell and Young have been able to piece together even more of the story of Apollo 11 and the as... [More]
Comment icon #31 Posted by Likely Guy 7 years ago
Waspie Dwarf: "Learn more about how the purse came to the Museum: http://blog.nasm.si....rmstrong-purse/ and details regarding its contents/" It not a 'purse', it's a 'man bag'.


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