June 5 (UPI) — The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday unveiled the first of 15 life-sized statues of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit from his historic walk on the moon. The resin statue was put on view at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The remaining 14 statues will be installed at other Major League Baseball ballparks throughout the country.
The museum created the statues by 3D scanning the original spacesuit, which can’t be taken apart for measurements. The scans were completed as part of a Kickstarter-funded project to conserve and digitize the suit.
The museum said it used four techniques to scan the spacesuit — laser arm scanning to capture surface detail, photogrammetry to capture accurate color, structured light scanning to capture geometry and a CT scan to capture the suit’s interior.
“This object represents an incredibly important achievement in human history,” said Vince Rossi, part of the Smithsonian’s 3D digitization team. “And it was just such an amazing honor for our team to work on a project like this that we basically used every tool in our toolbox.”
Using the scans, museum workers created a 3D-printed replica of the suit, which was used to make a mold for the resin sculptures.
The original suit will return to the museum floor July 16, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, which took Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon.
After the suit unveiling at Nationals Park, the 14 other suits will be installed throughout the rest of June and will remain up through the end of the baseball season. In addition to the Nationals, the home stadiums of the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays will host one of the statues.