NEWS
GOOD PEOPLE
HISTORY
LIFE HACKS
THE PLANET
SCIENCE & TECH
POLITICS
WHOLESOME
WORK & MONEY
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
GOOD is part of GOOD Worldwide Inc.
publishing family.
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Strange reason Apollo 11 astronauts were locked up with mice in a container upon returning to Earth

Upon returning to Earth, the heroes of the Apollo 11 mission received a weird welcome than they expected.

Strange reason Apollo 11 astronauts were locked up with mice in a container upon returning to Earth
Cover Image Source: From left to right, Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Jnr, and Michael Collins, the crew of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing mission quarantined upon their return to Earth. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

It has been almost six decades since man first set foot on the Moon. The success of NASA's Apollo 11 will be etched in history forever. This important mission has some very interesting tales attached to it. From the doomed speech in case the mission failed to the lead astronaut bringing a secret bag of objects that were supposed to be left on the Moon, some have come to light very recently. In a YouTube video uploaded by 60 Minutes Australia, one of the astronauts onboard revealed that they were made to live in a container with a colony of white mice for some days after returning to Earth. 

Image Source: From left to right, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Jnr, the crew of the lunar module Apollo 11 at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
Image Source: From left to right, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Jnr, the crew of the lunar module Apollo 11 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

Apollo 11 was a success because of everyone involved in the mission, especially the three astronauts- Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. While most of us remember Armstrong and Aldrin, the third crew member of Apollo 11, Collins, is usually forgotten as he did not get to walk on the Moon. However, in the grand scheme of things, Collins was the backbone of the entire mission. He was assigned to work on the operations of the space vessel - which turned out to be crucial in the end for the success of the lunar mission.



 

In 2019, he was asked about his experience on the Moon in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia. The 88-year-old quipped, "Did I have the best seat on Apollo 11? No. Was I happy with the seat I did have? Yes. I really was. And to be any small part of that suited me very well." With a humourous touch to the conversation, he added, "Besides I was their (Armstrong and Aldrin) ticket home. They couldn't get home without me."

Image Source: Astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, studies flight plan during simulation training at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for the scheduled July 16th mission. (Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)
Image Source: Astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, studies flight plan during simulation training at the Kennedy Space Center for the scheduled July 16th mission. (Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)

Sharing a story about their return to Earth, Collins said that the government did not allow them to come into contact with anyone for 2 weeks and they were quarantined in a separate space. The American astronaut revealed, "We were put into quarantine for two weeks. Some of our scientists were worried about the pathogens that we might have brought back from the moon. They possibly would be dangerous to humankind."

Collins further stated their quarantine zone was a "hermetically sealed container with a gigantic colony of white mice." He said, "If the white mice lived, we were okay. If the white mice died, we were in deep trouble." He then added that the mice eventually became his friends and by the end of their quarantine, the rodents were living and healthy.

Image Source:  Wearing their baseball caps, the Apollo 11 astronauts look out from the mobile quarantine facility aboard the USS Hornet here, day after their successful splashdown in the Pacific. LTR: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.
Image Source: Wearing their baseball caps, the Apollo 11 astronauts look out from the mobile quarantine facility aboard the USS Hornet here, the day after their successful splashdown in the Pacific. (Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)

Not only that, their spacecraft, the Apollo 11 Command Module, as well as the 49 pounds of lunar samples they brought back, were also kept in quarantine. It has been reported that these items were kept away from human contact for 21 days, as per NASA.



 

On the evening of August 10, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were finally given a green signal to step out of their quarantine zone. The astronauts were given a warm welcome by Manned Spacecraft Center's Director Robert L. Gilruth, other NASA officials, and colleagues. It was the first time they could freely interact with the outside world after their return.



 

More Stories on Good