Apollo 11, the first successful lunar landing mission, splashed down on July 24, 1969. The world celebrated the mission’s end, but the crew didn’t exactly get to go party hopping or attend the celebrations in the streets that erupted around the country. Immediately after splashdown, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins were quarantined, separated from the world until August 3. No one knew whether or not they had picked up some kind of space sickness and NASA wasn’t taking any chances. The astronauts were in quarantine when they met with President Nixon, when they were reunited with their wives, and even when they attended mission debriefings. They were in quarantine longer than some of their experiments ran on the Moon. The passive seismic experiment they left on the surface as part of their EASEP package was turned off on July 30 and the astronauts weren’t released until August 3. The ticker-tape parade through New York City honouring the first men on the Moon didn’t take place until August 13, almost a month after the mission launched. This gallery offers a glimpse into the final, not-so-glamorous quarantine phase of Apollo 11’s mission to the Moon.
_Sources: NASA; Apollo by the Numbers by Orloff. _