SpaceKids Global Delivers Piece of Original Wright Brothers Flyer to OSC
Through the generosity of Mark Armstrong and Rick Armstrong, sons of Janet and Neil Armstrong, Sharon Hagle, founder of SpaceKids Global, has donated to Orlando Science Center fabric from the wing of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane which Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, took with him on the Apollo 11 Mission along with an original Apollo 11 mission patch. The pieces will be placed on display near the Science Center’s Flight Lab. SpaceKids Global and Orlando Science Center partner on opportunities to inspire the next generation of space explorers.
The Wright Flyer wing fabric accompanied Mark and Rick Armstrong’s father into space on Apollo 11. After returning to Earth, Armstrong delivered a portion of the wing to the Smithsonian Institute and was allowed to keep the remainder for his personal collection. Neil’s sons decided to donate this gift with others to spread a message of exploration and discovery. SpaceKids Global and the Armstrongs agreed that the donation would be permanently displayed at Orlando Science Center.
“We created SpaceKids Global to inspire elementary students and empower young girls in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and the Environment,” Hagle said.
“This fabric represents the beginning of flight, and the power of science. Neil Armstrong took these pieces of the wing with him on his trip to the moon which is so timely with all of Central Florida’s significant involvement in the space program historically and currently. Orlando Science Center shares our dedication to science and space so what better partner to help us engage tomorrow’s astronauts?”
The fabric being donated was excised from Armstrong’s own section of the wing cloth, certified and encapsulated that it has been flown twice: December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and July 20, 1969 at Tranquility Base on the moon. The Apollo 11 Mission Patch was only issued to NASA and the Apollo 11 crew: Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
“Orlando Science Center is extremely grateful to Sharon, SpaceKids Global and the Armstrong Family for the donation of these amazing, historical artifacts,” said JoAnn Newman. “Both pieces dramatically represent the great strides we’ve made in aviation and space exploration. We will display them proudly and use these pieces of history to spark future generations’ curiosity and desire to pursue space exploration.”