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Neil Armstrong's Moon Mementos Discovered Hidden in Closet

Feb 09, 2015 09:00 PM EST
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Famous American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, apparently kept some mementos from this historic trip for himself, and they were only just recently discovered hidden in his closet.

The spacefarer's widow, upon rummaging through one of Armstrong's closets, reportedly found artifacts from his Apollo 11 mission that he brought back to Earth.

"I received an email from Carol Armstrong that she had located in one of Neil's closets a white cloth bag filled with assorted small items that looked like they may have come from a spacecraft," Allan Needell, the Apollo curator at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, wrote in a blog posted Friday. "Needless to say, for a curator of a collection of space artifacts, it is hard to imagine anything more exciting."

Inside the bag, or "McDivitt purse" as it's commonly called, are artifacts including a waist tether, power cables, and even the historic camera that was mounted in a lunar module window, which recorded Armstrong taking his "one small step" for mankind on the Moon's surface on July 20, 1969.

For whatever reason, Armstrong apparently kept the bag a secret for more than four decades.

"As far as we know, Neil has never discussed the existence of these items and no one else has seen them in the 45 years since he returned from the Moon," Needell wrote.

Before you call Armstrong a thief, know that the bag would have otherwise been destroyed if it weren't for him. Its contents were supposed to be left in the Eagle lunar module so that there was no extra weight on their return trip to Earth, according to The Independent. Had the bag been left behind, these priceless mementos would never have made it home.

The McDivitt purse will go on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum alongside other artifacts from the Apollo mission.

It seems that even after his death in 2012, Armstrong is still taking us on a journey to the Moon.

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