After returning to Earth, the Apollo 11 astronauts were placed in a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) to be transported to a NASA facility. How much time did the astronauts spend in the MQF?
The Apollo 12 astronauts and flight surgeon Dr. Clarence A. Jernigan and NASA engineer Brock R. “Randy” Stone spent 5 days in the MQF.
NASA flight surgeon Dr. Clarence A. Jernigan gave each astronaut a brief physical examination during the brief flight back to Hornet, declaring all three of them healthy.
After landing on Hornet’s deck, sailors lowered the helicopter to the hangar deck, where Conrad, Gordon, and Bean, followed by Jernigan walked the few steps to the MQF where NASA engineer Brock R. “Randy” Stone awaited them. He sealed the door of the MQF exactly one hour after splashdown. The five men spent the next five days together in the MQF until they arrived at the LRL.
Each MQF was designed to house up to 6 people for 10 days.
The Apollo 11 crew spent 88 hours in the MQF while the USS Hornet sailed to Hawaii, after which the MQF with the astronauts was flown to Houston on a C-141.
They, together with a physician and a technician, remained in it for 88 hours while the MQF was transported on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii and from there to nearby Hickam AFB. At Hickam, the MQF was loaded into the cargo hold of a C-141 aircraft and flown to Ellington AFB in Houston, Texas.
The duration of the stay in the MQF largely depended on the location of the splashdown site and how long it took the naval vessel to travel to the required US territory to transfer the astronauts with their flight surgeon and NASA technician.