What Neil Armstrong Kept In His Closet Is WAY Cooler Than What I Keep In Mine

If, for some reason, you went poking around in my closet, I can guarantee you’d be pretty underwhelmed. You’d find clothes, some shoes, a gym bag, and a couple of hats. What’s the coolest thing you would come upon? Maybe a dusty Wacom Intuos tablet. But then again, I never went to the moon.


After his death in 2012, Neil Armstrong’s wife, Carol, made a pretty exciting discovery in her husband’s closet. She found Neil’s McDivitt Purse. The white Temporary Storage Bag, which opens at the top like a clutch purse, was nicknamed the “McDivitt Purse” after Armstrong’s fellow astronaut, James McDivitt (Apollo 9), who original suggested it be taken to the moon.


What did Mrs. Armstrong find in the bag? Just a bunch of trash. That’s what he called it! The Apollo 11 Mission transcript quotes Neil referring to “just a bunch of trash that we want to take back.” It’s funny because, in a very real sense, he’s right. Every single piece of equipment that went to the moon, including the 6,540,000 pound spacecraft that got it there, was disposable! It was used just once and then thrown away…well, more left on the side of the road, I guess.

It’s a good thing that Carol Armstrong didn’t just toss the stuff. She instead sent the items to the curator of the Apollo collection at the National Air and Space Museum, for research and preservation.


This is the trash that Neil Armstrong decided to hold onto:

16mm Data Acquisition Camera with Power Cable


Utility Bracket Assembly




Crewmen Optical Alignment Sight




Utility Light with Power Cable




Waist Tether


Also included in Armstrong’s stash was a filter for the crewman optical alignment sight, a light bulb assembly, a helmet tie down strap, a right-angle bracket adapter for the data acquisition camera, a 10mm lens and lens shade for the camera, the eye guard assembly for the lunar module alignment optical scope, a mirror, an emergency wrench, netting, and most curious to me:

Waste Management Cover


Learn more about this hidden treasure trove on CNET.