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  Apollo Mobile Quarantine Facilities (MQF) on display

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Author Topic:   Apollo Mobile Quarantine Facilities (MQF) on display
onesmallstep
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Posts: 656
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 12-06-2007 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While viewing the Discovery Science Channel series 'Mars Rising', they interviewed a scientist involved with the quarantine procedures in place during Apollos 11 to 14.

The interview took place aboard the preserved carrier USS Hornet, inside a mobile quarantine facility (MQF) trailer. I know another is in the McDonnell Space Hall at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center; what became of the others?

I know NASA turns over most of their artifacts to the Smithsonian, but this piece would be hard to miss, even in storage. While viewing the cheesy sci-fi movie 'Futureworld' from 1976 with Peter Fonda and Yul Brenner, I noticed in one shot a mockup command module and an unmistakable silver MQF next to it. They filmed part of the movie at Johnson Space Center, as they even used the vacuum test chamber there.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29464
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-06-2007 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 11 MQF (MQF003) was for years on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center before it was recalled by the Smithsonian for display the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

The Apollo 12 MQF (MQF002) is exhibited at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama.

The Apollo 14 MQF (MQF004) is now on-board the U.S.S. Hornet Museum.

MQF001, intended for Apollo 13, was never used by NASA and was last known to be in the service of the Department of Agriculture at the Weed Research Lab in Stonesville, Miss. Its exact location and current condition are unknown, though it may have been destroyed in a forest fire.

There was no quarantine requirement for the Apollo 15, 16 or 17 missions.

Choose2Go
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Posts: 73
From: Merritt Island, FL, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 12-06-2007 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Choose2Go     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have these listed under 'Miscellaneous' on the Field Guide.

Rodina
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Posts: 836
From: Lafayette, CA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 12-06-2007 11:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The nice thing about the one on the Hornet is that you can climb right in and look around (although the lounge area in the front is roped off, and a couple of the small closest are locked).

mikepf
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Posts: 371
From: San Jose, California, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-07-2007 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't pass up a chance to give the Hornet a plug. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the San Francisco bay area. I had the honor of first seeing the Hornet's MQF while Ed Mitchell was aboard.

Cliff Lentz
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Posts: 649
From: Philadelphia, PA USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-09-2007 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On my first stint at Space Camp in Alabama in 1989, the Apollo 11 MQF "Hornet +3" was on display. You could actually go inside the front section where the big window is (the one you see the crew looking out in all the pictures).

The cafeteria was very close to the museum then, so campers could roam around before it was officially opened. I got to know all the janitors very quickly.

At that time, they tested the campers the first day you arrived and I was named commander of my group. The day of our big two hour simulation flight, I was looking for a quiet place to study my flight book one last time.

The choice was obvious to me, the MQF! So for twenty minutes I sat on the floor and went through my script, occasionally glancing out the picture window.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1539
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-28-2009 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 11 at Udvar-Hazy, Apollo 12 at the Davidson Center and Apollo 14 on the
Hornet:

flight_plan
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posted 07-29-2009 05:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for flight_plan   Click Here to Email flight_plan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rodina:
The nice thing about the one on the Hornet is that you can climb right in and look around (although the lounge area in the front is roped off, and a couple of the small closest are locked).
As a stickler for detail when viewing past relics, how near to the exact original position is the Hornet trailer? I notice the painted footsteps go towards the big window so is that how they got in?

How much of the inside is original?

I don't expect to see Nixon looking through the window back at me (would be nice for a look alike mannequin) but I like static displays to be accurate although not always possible I know.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 595
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 07-29-2009 06:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by flight_plan:
As a stickler for detail when viwing past relics, how near to the exact original position is the Hornet trailer? I notice the painted footsteps go towards the big window so is that how they got in?
From the pictures I've seen, it's in about the same place the MQF would have been for Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. The re-created position of the footprints isn't quite accurate (the astronauts made an abrupt left turn at the door rather than the "broad turn" position of the painted footprints), but the position of the MQF looks accurate.

When I was last aboard Hornet 10 years ago the MQF wasn't on board, but there was a display set up in the area of Hangar Bay 2 where the MQF was. There was also a television in about the same location President Nixon made his remarks, playing a video loop of the event.

It's good to see the Apollo 11 MQF again -- like some others, I have memories of going inside it during its days in Huntsville -- though I'm a little heartbroken to see the re-created "Hornet + 3" sign in Helvetica rather than in painted stencil. Oh, well...

By the way, during at least the Apollo 11 recovery, there were two MQFs embarked aboard Hornet. In addition, the prototype MQF was taken aboard USS Guadalcanal at some point in 1968 or 1969 for testing and checkout.

[Edited to correct the bit about USS Guadalcanal. Oops.]

Philip
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Posts: 4950
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 08-30-2011 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's the official name of this van/capsule where the Apollo 11, Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 crew had to stay for 21 days?

Both Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 were recovered onboard USS Hornet, so was the same quarantine unit used? I know there's one on the Carrier museum and one in Udvar-Hazy in Washington D.C.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29464
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-30-2011 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You will find the answers to your questions about the Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) as posted earlier in this thread.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-21-2014 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did the Apollo 14 astronauts use two Mobile Quarantine Facilities for their return to Houston after splashdown?

A pre-flight NASA news release (Dec 31, 1970) mentions a revised recovery procedure for Apollo 14. Is this how it happened?

From the release:

As in Apollos 11 and 12, the three astronauts, after emerging from their spacecraft into a liferaft, will be transferred by helicopter to the recovery carrier and immediately enter a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) resembling an aluminum camping trailer.

When the carrier arrives within helicopter range of Samoa, 40 to 45 hours later, they will leave the MQF through a recently designed double airlock. In the airlock they will put on clean flight suits and respirators, then board an adjacent helicopter, and be flown to Samoa.

There the helicopter will be towed to the rear of the waiting C-141 transport plane carrying a second MQF, into which the men will transfer for the flight to Houston with only a refueling stop in Hawaii. The crew will remain in the MQF at all times during the flight from Samoa to Houston.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 595
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 04-21-2014 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The description and pictures on this page are of particular interest. The Apollo 14 astronauts walked from the helicopter across the ramp at the airfield to the waiting C-141 and the MQF inside, and there was apparently a brief ceremony.

LM-12
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Posts: 1089
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-21-2014 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that link. I had never seen those photos before.

The recovery procedures were revised to get the Apollo 14 crew back to Houston five or six days sooner, according to the press release.

The Apollo 14 splashdown location was the southernmost of all the manned CM splashdown locations in the Pacific.

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