One of the best things about working at the National Air and Space Museum is going to the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility every now and then. The museum keeps aircraft that is being restored and artifacts that need special storage conditions–like spacesuits!—out there. Communications staff is required to accompany reporters working on stories about the museum’s artifacts, so whenever the story is about restoration or objects that are not on display, we get a chance to head out to Garber and hear the people who work on these artifacts talk about them.
The Smithsonian’s flight collection is the largest and most significant of its kind, with some 60,000 artifacts, including many of history’s most rare and iconic artifacts. Each time I go out to Garber I see something completely unexpected and remarkable, like the RX-2 experimental spacesuit that looks like a knight’s shining armor.
Or Neil Armstrong’s suit being carried out of the environmentally conditioned storage room: