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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Alternative Apollo 11 quarantine arrangements?

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Author Topic:   Alternative Apollo 11 quarantine arrangements?
tetrox
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Posts: 106
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 02-09-2014 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am curious what quarantine arrangements were in place should the Apollo 11 command module for whatever reason had splashed down out of reach of the primary recovery force.

The USS Hornet carried two quarantine facilities on board and divers left the ship to provide the astronauts, biological isolation garments.

Assuming these were not available were the astronauts to remain in/with their spacecraft?

ZANL188
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Posts: 5
From: Valdosta, GA, USA
Registered: Mar 2013

posted 02-09-2014 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ZANL188   Click Here to Email ZANL188     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were their any options for other than primary recovery areas on lunar returns? I should think recovery area was pretty well established at trans earth injection. Recovery forces would then have several days to position.

Primary case I can think of that would land somewhere other than the primary recovery area is if they did not land on the moon. Quarantine would not be a requirement in that case.

tetrox
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Posts: 106
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 02-10-2014 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, but whilst I understand the probability of landing outside the primary designated recovery zone may not have been great, my understanding is that factors such as weather, problems with the primary recovery vessel "USS Hornet", spacecraft alignment difficulties could result in the command module being located far from where predicted.

Whilst there was debate as to how necessary or really effective the quarantine procedure would be, considerable effort was placed in designing and carrying out a highly orchestrated recovery .

I find it difficult to imagine that there was no secondary quarantine procedure should things not have gone to plan.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 02-10-2014 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Page 64 of the Apollo 11 Press Kit gives details of alternative landing zones for a return from lunar orbit. However, no details are given about quarantine arrangements if these had to be used.

ZANL188
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From: Valdosta, GA, USA
Registered: Mar 2013

posted 02-10-2014 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ZANL188   Click Here to Email ZANL188     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe I'm not understanding the issue however...

With the recovery area reasonably well defined at TEI, NASA would have several days to plan and move forces for an off-nominal recovery. This provides a number of options: Move the prime recovery ship, fly in the second MQF, leave the astronauts in the CM (within limits of power and ventilation), seal up the CM and fly the astronauts to the LRL in their BIGs, etc.

I've spent 10s of hours at a time in a chem suit with a mask on. It's not comfortable but it's doable.

The Apollo 11 press kit does not refer to alternate lunar return landing areas for Apollo 11. It does refer to planned recovery lines for lunar missions and it does mention alternate landings areas for Earth orbital missions.

tetrox
Member

Posts: 106
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 02-10-2014 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the kind replies.

I'm sorry, there wasn't any "issue", just something I was mulling over and it seemed to me that "all the eggs were in one basket" so to speak and I couldn't find any documentation or reference in any the various books describing recovery operations about alternative quarantine procedures.

All times are CT (US)

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