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Apollo 11 Spacesuit Statue Coming To Great American Ball Park

Great American Ball Park will be one of 15 stadiums across the country to host a replica of Neil Armstrong's space suit. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is sponsoring Apollo in the Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing.

The life-sized statues will start landing in ball parks in June and stay until the fall.

Smithsonian spokesman Nick Partridge says Apollo 11 and the moon landing are still very fresh in the memories of many people.

"We thought where better will we encounter families and multiple generations who could unexpectedly happen on this piece of history and relate that to a hot summer night 50 years ago when history was made for all humankind, and could turn to each other among generations and discuss what it was like and what it felt like and what it will feel like when we eventually return to the moon and on to Mars," Partridge says.

Armstrong's spacesuit was scanned during a recent conservation project, and the scans were used to create the statue.

Partridge says the replicas will live up to the original suit Armstrong wore on the moon. "It's discolored with lunar dust. It is strikingly white. The gold of the visor is really spectacular in person. The patches; the American flag on the sleeve; the NASA 'meatball' logo on the chest; and the Apollo 11 eagle, all really stand out in person."

The original suit will go on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington on July 16, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11.

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In this July 16, 1969 file photo, Neil Armstrong, waving in front, heads for the van that will take the crew to the rocket for launch to the moon at Kennedy Space Center.
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In this July 16, 1969 file photo, Neil Armstrong, waving in front, heads for the van that will take the crew to the rocket for launch to the moon at Kennedy Space Center.