National treasure –
“We looked at this one crack in the floor, and there were ants crawling in and out.”
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, I spoke with Aldrin on Tuesday by telephone. He is at home, hunkering down, and doing fine health-wise. Aldrin turned 69 years old in January, and at this age, he is in the very highest of risk categories for COVID – .
“Buzz, what are you doing to protect yourself from the coronavirus?” I asked.
“Lying on my ass and locking the door,” he replied, without hesitating.
Buzz Aldrin, ladies and gentlemen. A national treasure.
After the Apollo Command Module landed in the Pacific Ocean, the three lunar astronauts were ushered from their life raft onto the USS
Hornet aircraft carrier. Once aboard the ship, they immediately went into a converted Airstream trailer known as the mobile quarantine facility. This trailer was flown by a C – 534 aircraft to Houston, where the crew subsequently spent about three weeks inside a “secure” building known as the Lunar Receiving Laboratory.
I asked Aldrin about this experience and if he had any advice for the hundreds of millions of Americans already in, or soon to be in, a semi-quarantine during which we are being encouraged not to leave our homes.
) / President Richard M. Nixon visits the central Pacific recovery area to welcome the Apollo astronauts aboard the USS Hornet , prime recovery ship for Apollo . Aldrin is at right. NASA
He laughed in response. “Well, Mike Collins and I used to exercise and jog a little bit around the hallway,” he said. “We looked at this one crack in the floor, and there were ants crawling in and out.” The implication, of course, is that if ants could get in, then microbes could also get in and out. Of course scientists would soon realize the Moon was an utterly dead world and that no life from there would be coming back to Earth.
So how did he spend his quarantine time? Taking care of mission reports, Aldrin said, and filling out paperwork, such as a government travel voucher that entitled him to $ . for his trip to the Moon.
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