• Buzz Aldrin is selling quarantine photos of the Apollo 11 mission
  • Each photo contains Aldrin's autograph 
  • Proceeds will be used to help communities fight the effects of the coronavirus

As part of a fundraiser to help fight COVID-19 in the U.S., former NASA astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin is selling limited autographed copies of a photo from his Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. In line with what’s happening today, the photo features the moment when the three Apollo 11 astronauts were placed in quarantine after returning to Earth.

Aldrin, together with mission commander Neil Armstrong, were the first humans to set foot on the Moon. The historical event happened during the Apollo 11 mission, which was launched by NASA in 1969.

Upon returning to Earth after completing their mission, Aldrin, Armstrong and command module pilot Michael Collins were subjected to a three-week quarantine procedure. It was conducted to ensure that they wouldn’t infect Earth with pathogens from space.

“NASA wanted to make sure we didn’t bring back anything contagious from the Moon – so we socialized in a very small group, ourselves,” Aldrin said in a statement. “Having taken 'social distancing' to an extreme at the Moon, quarantine was manageable.”

The quarantine was held inside a modified Airstream trailer. The moment was captured through a photo showing the three astronauts talking to former U.S. President Richard Nixon while they were inside their quarantine chambers.

Recently, Aldrin had started selling copies of the photo with his autograph through the Apollo Space Shop website. Only a hundred copies of the rare photo are being sold for $599 each. Aside from the photo, a certificate of authenticity will also be included in each purchase.

According to Aldrin, the photos are being sold as part of a fundraiser for the Salvation Army. The proceeds will be used by the organization to help communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus and the lockdowns in different parts of the country.

“Like many of you, I want to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19 and have been self-quarantining for a while now,” the former NASA astronaut said in a statement. “Being quarantined is never easy – I know! – but it’s something we can all do for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and our country. Call it one small step for each of us, one giant leap for Mankind!”

Apollo 11 Quarantine
United States President Richard Nixon was in the central Pacific recovery area to welcome the Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the USS Hornet, prime recovery ship for the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, on July 24, 1969. The Apollo 11 astronauts are, from left, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. They were quarantined after splashdown to ensure they did not bring back any contamination from the moon. NASA