Splashdown 45 - USS Hornet Museum Celebrates Apollo 11 Anniversary

Honoring the Past… Inspiring the Future…

This site is devoted to the public commemoration of the Apollo 11 moon mission --  the first time humans walked on the moon and their safe recovery by the aircraft carrier USS Hornet upon their return to Earth. Visit here for the latest updates and information about the special guests, schedule of events, exhibits and activities, ticket packages, and more.

Special Links

The Museum opened a temporary Mars Rover exhibit on September 20, 2010

The Museum opened a temporary Mars Rover exhibit on September 20, 2010

One item that made the recovery of Apollo 11 particularly difficult for the USS Hornet was the need to ensure the NASA-mandated quarantine of the astronauts, moon rocks, and spacecraft from the Earth's biosphere. While we now know there were no lunar pathogens (aka moon germs) to be dealt with, scientists still have major planetary "forward" and "backward" contamination concerns. See how the Mars rocks and astronauts might be required to undergo a similar quarantine upon their return from the Red Planet:

"Mars Sample Return: 
Bringing the Red Planet to Earth
"


Hornet crew prepares to bring Apollo 11 command module aboard

Hornet crew prepares to bring Apollo 11 command module aboard

The magazine Popular Mechanics published a 6-part overview of the epic Apollo 11 mission. Read about the inside story of the Apollo 11 recovery from the NASA and Navy personnel who made it happen! Many of them will be attending Splashdown 45 as our Special Guests at and will be available to speak with visitors or autograph books:

"Entry and Splashdown:
Apollo 11, The Untold Story"


The Apollo 11 command module after splashdown in July of 1969

The Apollo 11 command module after splashdown in July of 1969

The Register of Great Britain, a British technology news and opinion website, provides a wonderful overview of the historical issues involved with returning manned spacecraft to the Earth:

"Space dogs and Dragons:
A brief history of reentry tech"


The Apollo 10 crew onboard the NASA M/V Retriever vessel in the Gulf of Mexico as they train for exiting the command module after splashdown.

The Apollo 10 crew onboard the NASA M/V Retriever vessel in the Gulf of Mexico as they train for exiting the command module after splashdown.

An entire unit was formed at NASA to specifically handle the splashdown and recovery of American spacecraft in the 1960s and 1970s. Known as the Landing and Recovery Division, they worked closely with the Department of Defense to ensure timely and safe recovery of all spacecraft and astronauts. The alumni have their own website which contains many great eyewitness stories and unpublished photographs:

Landing & Recovery Division

The USS Hornet Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and a registered State and National Historic Landmark. 
The Museum's official website is www.uss-hornet.org.
USS HORNET MUSEUM • 707 W. Hornet Ave, Pier 3 • Alameda, CA 94501 • (510) 521-8448