Apollo 11 recovery helicopter and Nixon on USS Hornet, 1969
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Apollo 11 recovery helicopter and Nixon on USS Hornet. Recovery helicopter being taken below decks on the USS Hornet, carrying the Apollo 11 astronauts at the end of their mission on 24 July 1969, with President Nixon among those watching. The US astronauts (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) flew this historic mission, which was the first to land astronauts on the Moon. They were recovered by US Navy divers from the Command Module 'Columbia' as it floated in the Pacific Ocean after splashdown. The recovery process included the astronauts wearing biological isolation uniforms. After landing on the ship, the astronauts were placed in a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF), greeted by President Nixon, and then flown to Houston, Texas, and kept in quarantine for 18 days until 10 August 1969.