Mobile Quarantine Facility
The Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) is a converted Airstream trailer used by NASA to quarantine astronauts returning from Apollo lunar missions. Its purpose was to prevent the spread of any contagions from the moon, though the existence of such contagions was considered unlikely. It functioned by maintaining a lower pressure inside and filtering any air vented.
The MQF contained living and sleeping facilities as well as communications which the astronauts used to converse with their families. The Apollo 11 crew also used this to speak with President Nixon who personally welcomed them back to Earth aboard the recovery ship after splashdown.
The trailers housed the three crew as well as a doctor and an assistant for cleaning and cooking.
Four MQFs were built for NASA:
|Apollo 11||MQF003||Four years on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, now on display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.|
|Apollo 12||MQF002||Converted for various purposes and found near Marion, Alabama, now on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.|
|Apollo 13||MQF001||Not used for the crew because they did not land on the Moon. For some time the USDA used it. Its present disposition is unknown.|
|Apollo 14||MQF004||At the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California.|
The quarantine requirement was eliminated following Apollo 14 once it was proven that the moon was void of life and the facilities were no longer used.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mobile Quarantine Facility.|
- "Mobile Quarantine Facility". Collections Database. National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
- Pearlman, Robert (August 11, 2007). "Topic: Apollo 12 MQF trailer resurfaces". CollectSpace. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- "Space Camp Newsletter: Mobile Quarantine Facility". September, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- Mason, Betsy (July 2009). "Wired Science News for Your Neurons Splashdown! The Ship That Picked Up the Apollo 11 Astronauts". Wired!.
- "After Splashdown". Apollo to the Moon. National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. July 1999.