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Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 moon gear rediscovered (pictures)

The first man on the moon tucked away artifacts from the 1969 Apollo 11 moon mission in a cloth space-purse in his closet.

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Amanda Kooser
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1 of 14 Carol Armstrong/ALSJ

Contents of the Apollo 11 purse

After Neil Armstrong's death in 2012, his widow Carol Armstrong discovered a white cloth bag in a closet. It was full of odd and unusual items that looked like they came from a spacecraft.

Experts at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum studied the items and determined they came from the destroyed Lunar Module Eagle from the famous Apollo 11 moon mission. The artifacts had been hidden and forgotten for over four decades.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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2 of 14 NASA

Neil Armstrong after visiting the moon

This image shows Neil Armstrong in 1969 inside the Eagle Lunar Module after visiting the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. A container full of parts and gear from the Eagle was found tucked away in a closet after Armstrong's death in 2012.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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3 of 14 NASA

Space-purse holds miscellany

A photograph from the Apollo 11 mission shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin with a white cloth container while inspecting the Lunar Module during the journey to the moon. Called a Temporary Stowage Bag, or "the Purse," this bag was later found in Neil Armstrong's closet by his widow. The forgotten bag was full of parts and gear from the mission.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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4 of 14 Ulli Lotzmann/ALSJ

Spare light bulb assembly

A cloth "purse" tucked away in Neil Armstrong's closet contained a variety of gear from the Apollo 11 mission, including this spare light bulb assembly. This particular spare was stored near Buzz Aldrin's flight station.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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5 of 14 Ulli Lotzmann/ALSJ

Eyewitness to space history

One of the more intriguing items found in a hidden stash of gear from the Apollo 11 moon mission is this data acquisition camera that was mounted in the Lunar Module's window to capture the historic moon landing. The camera is on loan to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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6 of 14 National Air and Space Museum

Utility light and clamp

This coppery-looking snakelike piece of gear from the Apollo 11 mission is a utility light with a bracket assembly attached. Velcro patches were used to attach the lights in places where it would otherwise be difficult to install them.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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7 of 14 NASA

Training photo with utility lights

The utility light found in a bag in astronaut Neil Armstrong's closet after his death is the same type as seen in this NASA training photo from the Apollo 12 mission.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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8 of 14 National Air and Space Museum

Utility bracket assembly

This Utility Bracket Assembly was attached to a utility light found in a cloth bag in Neil Armstrong's closet. The astronaut's widow shared the find with the National Air and Space Museum, which determined the artifacts were from the Lunar Module of the Apollo 11 moon mission.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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9 of 14 Ulli Lotzmann/ALSJ

Apollo 11 Eagle mirror

This image shows the back of a mirror that flew on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The mission resulted in Neil Armstrong being the first human on the moon. The mirror's mounting hardware is visible in the center.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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10 of 14 NASA

Mirror placement in the Lunar Module

This NASA photo shows a Lunar Module simulator used for training for the Apollo 11 mission. The position of the mirror in the upper left corner corresponds to where the one found in Neil Armstrong's closet would have been located inside the Eagle.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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11 of 14 National Air and Space Museum

Rotating eyeguard

During the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969, this rotatable eyeguard was stored in a compartment near Buzz Aldrin's flight station.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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12 of 14 Ulli Lotzmann/ALSJ

Crewman Optical Alignment Sight

This Crewman Optical Alignment Sight was installed above Armstrong's window on the Eagle Lunar Module used for the Apollo 11 moon mission. The instrument helped with docking the Lunar Module.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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13 of 14 National Air and Space Museum

Waist tether for securing astronauts

Waist tethers in the Apollo 11 Eagle Lunar Module were designed to be used in a emergency situation if there was a problem with docking the module back to the main Command Module. The tethers would have come into play if the astronauts had to spacewalk between the modules. Instead, astronaut Neil Armstrong used this tether as a makeshift foot support.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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14 of 14 National Air and Space Museum

Waste management cover

This cover, labeled with tags reading "waste management," "open" and "close," was used on NASA's Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969. It is one a collection of items brought back to Earth after being used on the Eagle Lunar Module. The module was left behind and eventually destroyed when it impacted the moon. This artifact is one of the few remaining pieces of the module.

Related article: Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong's closet

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