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Apollo Mission Control team seeks to restore NASA site

Retired staffers are raising money to return the historic site to its former glory in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019.

A Kickstarter campaign seeks to restore the Apollo Mission Control Center.

NASA

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission approaching in 2019, retired NASA staffers are working with Space Center Houston to restore the original Apollo Mission Control Center and transform it into a museum.

A new Kickstarter campaign, launched July 20, is trying to raise part of the money needed for the $5 million restoration.    

The start of the Kickstarter campaign marked the 49th anniversary of astronaut Neil Armstrong becoming the first human to step onto the moon's surface as part of the Apollo 11 mission.

Webster, Texas -- home to various aerospace companies working on NASA's current deep-space missions -- will match up to $400,000 raised by the Kickstarter campaign. That's in addition to the $3.1 million the town has already pledged.

For anyone interested in donating to the project, Space Center Houston is offering perks on Kickstarter including a mission patch designed by "Star Trek: The Next Generation" set designer Michael Okuda, a private tour of the Mission Control room with Apollo-era flight director Gene Kranz, lunch with Apollo flight controllers and an invitation to a VIP event with "The Martian" author Andy Weir.

As of Monday, $300,500 has been pledged -- well beyond its original $250,000 Kickstarter goal. The fundraiser ends August 19.

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