It’s been almost five decades since NASA sent a crewed mission to Moon. The US space agency has recalled that it was February 27 in 1971 when Apollo 14 astronauts completed the required quarantine period after returning to Earth from a Moon visit. Apollo 14 was NASA’s eighth crewed mission. It was the third mission to land astronauts on the lunar surface. The three astronauts of the mission were Alan B Shepard, Stuart A Roosa, and Edgar D Mitchell. NASA said that the three had arrived at Houston-based Lunar Receiving Laboratory after splashdown to continue their quarantine. LRL is now Johnson Space Center. The agency said the quarantine period ended on this date 50 years ago after doctors satisfied them that there was no impact of Moon’s radiation on their health.
NASA said that the trio then went on hectic activities that lasted for weeks. It included them sharing their Moon stories and travel to the White House for a reception. They also delivered speeches before Congress. NASA said that the Apollo 14 mission’s one of the most famous incidents included playing golf on the Moon. It is Shepard who holds a unique record. Shepard was the first US astronaut to travel in space in 1961 inside Freedom 7 capsule. But that’s not all for which he is remembered. He is the only person who holds the record of playing golf on the Moon. He had hit two golf balls. Shepard was even awarded a special trophy for his golf shots by the Golf Magazine.
Apollo 14 was scheduled for 1970, but NASA launched it on January 31 next year. The spacecraft entered Moon’s orbit on February 4 and the module carrying three astronauts landed on Moon’s surface on February 5. It touched down in the Fra Mauro crater. NASA said that Apollo 14 spent 2.8 days in lunar orbit and circled it 34 times. It entered the South Pacific Ocean on February 9. Apollo 14 astronauts were the only crew to be placed under quarantine on both occasions — before and after the flight. They were also the last crew to be quarantined after returning to Earth from Moon.