Airstream and Astronauts 4

Having grown up just outside of Washington, DC, I was a privileged child to have had the ultimate experience of touring some of the nations prized possessions ~ museums and national monuments. You could probably deduce that we took these treasures for granted at the time. But, I cherish these monuments now! And the added bonus, the museums and monuments are free, which is a gift to us all. Worth a bucket list trip just to experience all that Washington, DC has to offer including: American Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian, National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, National WWII Memorial (one of my favorites since my Father is a WWII veteran) and Arlington National Cemetery ~  just to name a few.

A couple of years ago I toured the newer Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum,  Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. And now, I can’t wait to make a trip back so I can view this Airstream myself.

“This Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) was one of four built by NASA for astronauts returning from the Moon.  Its purpose was to prevent the unlikely spread of lunar contagions by isolating the astronauts from contact with other people.  A converted Airstream trailer, the MQF contained living and sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and a bathroom.  Quarantine was assured by keeping the air pressure inside lower than the pressure outside and by filtering the air vented from the facility. This MQF was used by Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins immediately after their return to Earth.  They remained in it for 65 hours, while the MQF was flown from the aircraft carrier Hornet to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  They were allowed to emerge once scientists were sure they were not infected with “moon germs.” NASA transferred the MQF to the Smithsonian Institution in 1974.”

Quote and photo source: Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum

4 comments

  1. I found this on-line at The New York Times:
    Airstream’s appeal seems to have few limits, and indeed a powerful world traveler recently provided proof of its persistent appeal. On a trip to Asia in February, Vice President Dick Cheney traveled in an Airstream — inside an airplane.

    Mark Silva, chief of the Washington bureau of The Chicago Tribune, accompanied the vice president as the press corps’ pool print reporter. The group flew on a huge gray C-17 cargo plane that the Air Force calls the Spirit of Strom Thurmond, in honor of the late senator. Mr. Silva said that when he boarded he noted the familiar outline of the Airstream roof inside the vast fuselage.

    “I crawled on the floor to look at the nameplate,” Mr. Silva said, confirming that it read “Airstream, Jackson Center, Ohio.” Inside, Mr. Silva said in an interview, “there were plush leather chairs, blue-gray carpet, wood paneling, recessed lighting and a TV and DVD player.” He said the Airstream reminded him of one of the first he had seen, on the cover of a Ry Cooder record album from 1970. “The Airstream is the symbol of taking it on the road with style,” he added.

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