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.

Exhibits

Visitors check out a moon rock during Splashdown 2009 | Photo by Susan Wood — More photos

Visitors check out a moon rock during Splashdown 2009 | Photo by Susan Wood — More photos

The 45th anniversary celebration of Apollo 11 will feature static displays of exhibits (photos, videos, memorabilia, moon rock, artifacts, aircraft, etc.) and live speaking events by individuals associated with the spacecraft recoveries and/or involved in the space exploration field. Activities are designed for all age groups throughout the entire event.

Splashdown 45 exhibits will be the most complete gathering of Apollo mission recovery-related memorabilia and artifacts in the world, including:

  • A HUP-1 Retriever helicopter like the one used to transfer John Glenn from the USS Noa to the USS Randolph following his mission as the first American to orbit the earth (Mercury-Atlas 6) in 1962
  • A UH-34D Seahorse helicopter similar to the ones used to recover astronauts during the Mercury program, including the Liberty Bell 7 mission with astronaut Gus Grissom
  • The actual SH-3H Sea King helicopter that recovered the Gemini 4 astronauts in 1965 and was also used in the blockbuster 1995 movie “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks
  • The actual Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) used to protect the Earth from potential “moon germs” following the Apollo 14 mission with astronauts Edgar Mitchell, Alan Shepard, and Stuart Roosa in 1971
  • A flown Apollo command module — CM011A was used for the unmanned AS-202 mission in 1966 and recovered by the USS Hornet after landing in the mid-Pacific
  • A Gemini boilerplate capsule on loan from The W Foundation
  • Artifacts from various Apollo missions, including an astronaut’s spacecraft couch and a survival kit used during the Apollo 10 lunar orbit mission in 1968
  • A number of unique photos and video footage taken from the USS Hornet in 1969 during the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 recoveries
  • A rare Biological Isolation Garment (BIG suit) designed for use during the Apollo 12 recovery
  • A Billy Pugh net similar to those that hoisted astronauts into the hovering helicopter
  • The display of a “moon rock” on loan from NASA
A flown Apollo command module and Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) are major artifacts in the USS Hornet Museum's Apollo exhibit — the aircraft carrier USS Hornet CVS-12 is the largest artifact | Photo by Bill Myers

A flown Apollo command module and Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) are major artifacts in the USS Hornet Museum's Apollo exhibit — the aircraft carrier USS Hornet CVS-12 is the largest artifact | Photo by Bill Myers

Exhibit from Splashdown 2009 shows re-enactment of Billy Pugh net in action using the Sea King helicopter | Photo by C.J. Lee

Exhibit from Splashdown 2009 shows re-enactment of Billy Pugh net in action using the Sea King helicopter | Photo by C.J. Lee

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