Following their return to Earth after the Apollo 11 flight, astronauts Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins were medically quarantined for three weeks.

30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Mission
(Photo : NASA/Newsmakers)
376713 09: (FILE PHOTO) The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has named these three astronauts as the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Left to right, are Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. The 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon mission is celebrated July 20, 1999.

It's what we've both seen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, during their 21-day quarantine following their pioneering lunar launch, they came into contact with lunar material.

It's extremely doubtful that several other birthdays in 1969 were still commemorated in quarantine. Armstrong had not planned on doing a birthday celebration on August 5.

Apollo 11 Astronauts Quarantined: What Happened to Them?

According to ABC News, there were two reasons for the caution. It's possible that the astronauts were exposed to dangerous bacteria or other mysterious substances.

The mission was the first time humans had contact with another celestial body's surface. Doctors kept a close eye on the explorers while a different team examined and analyzed the lunar rocks and dust the astronauts carried back.

The astronauts' 21-day quarantine began on July 21, when the hatch of the Eagle lunar lander closed and ended three days later when Aldrin and Armstrong reunited with Collins on the Columbia module orbiting the moon and began their three-day trip back to Earth.

Quarantining astronauts after lunar landings lasted with the Apollo 12 and 14 flights, but not for the rest of the Apollo program until scientists felt certain that the astronauts and everyone they met on their return to Earth posed no threat.

How Did Armstrong Celebrate His Quarantine Birthday?

Despite the limitations, Armstrong's birthday was not without celebrations. His birthday party had a cake with candles. Astronauts spent their quarantine at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory - now the Johson Space Center in Houston.

Since blowing out the candles, Armstrong exchanged slices of pizza with the crew's quarantine staff. The astronauts' mothers, isolated by a glass curtain, have congratulated Armstrong. Via the bottle, he pretended to pass them slices of cake.

Two other physicians kept an eye on the quarantine from the outside, and officials from the World Health Organization visited the lab as well.

And the astronauts started to think about new ways to pass the time.

They can be seen playing cards, reading magazines, and listening to the media reports of their project in photographs and video. They ate meals from a microwave oven in the trailer before heading to the more spacious living quarters in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, a device that had just recently become mainstream.

The astronauts could even use telephones in the trailer or between glass walls to contact their relatives who had been removed from them during the quarantine.

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The astronauts had already spent eight days on their mission together, not to mention all of the hours they had spent training together prior to launch, so it was close quarters.

The astronauts, on the other hand, attempted to allow each other as much anonymity as possible. When Aldrin was on the phone with his wife, Collins plugged his ears, and Armstrong played the ukulele.

Debriefings took up a lot of their time in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. The astronauts sat in a glass-enclosed space with NASA personnel, including Slayton, and debated various aspects of the flight.

According to NASA, the doors to the lab's crew reception area were officially opened on August 10, allowing the astronauts to step outside into the warm Texas evening. Since their preflight quarantine, it was the first time the astronauts had gone outside and met with someone other than critical staff.

Apollo 11 Astronauts Quarantined: Returning to Earth

According to WFSB, the big problem was for experts to prevent back infection or take back any undesirable hitchhiking bacteria or viruses from the moon. They took any stage of the Apollo 11 mission into account.

Brian C. Odom, the acting NASA chief historian, plans to quarantine astronauts that dealt with the lunar surface and how to treat lunar material started early in 1963, with the creation of the Interagency Committee on Back Contamination.

Contagion from space, like the terror of the unknown, was a common theme in popular science fiction films. The easiest way to deal with the moon's unpredictable factors appeared to be to quarantine the colonists when they landed and see if they had any health problems.

The easiest way to deal with unknown factors was to quarantine astronauts when they returned from a flight and observe them to see if they had any health problems.

Because of new technologies and the awareness, scientists and specialists today know more, and quarantining astronauts is no longer necessary.

The Quarantine of the Apollo 11 Astronauts: How to Watch the Documentary

If you have a cable account, you can watch the documentary on CNN by going to the cable provider's website. To find it, go to the provider's website and use the channel finder.

Other CNN programs include:

  • Anderson Cooper 360°;
  • CNN Newsroom;
  • CNN Tonight;
  • Cuomo Prime Time;
  • Erin Burnett OutFront;
  • The Lead with Jake Tapper; and
  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

You will live stream "Apollo 11: Quarantine" on Sling TV whether you're a cord cutter or don't have cable.

VOX's official YouTube channel has a look at the incidents that triggered "Apollo 11: Quarantine."

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