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Armstrong, who uttered those now famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," died in 2012 after complications associated with heart surgery.
In the wake of his death, Carol Armstrong donated many of the Apollo 11 artifacts to the museum's National Collection. She also shared some of her husband's correspondence and paper files to his alma mater, Purdue University in Indiana.
The white cloth bag
Not until recently did Carol Armstrong email the museum with the news she'd found, "a white cloth bag filled with assorted small items that looked like they may have come from a spacecraft."
With the email, she included a picture of the items, spread out on her carpet.
For a year, the team worked to document and understand the "function and significance of each of the items in the bag," confirming recently that a few definitely came from Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 mission.
Inside the bag was the camera that recorded Armstrong's landing on the moon, as well as his famous remarks upon his landing. The 16mm data acquisition camera was mounted in the window of the lunar module Eagle and recorded historic images: Armstrong just before he stepped onto the moon. Armstrong planting the American flag with Buzz Aldrin.
Also a part of the haul was a waist tether used by Armstrong to help support his feet during a rest period on the moon. Astronauts used these tethers as security in case they were forced to do a spacewalk during orbit