The Lunar Quarantine Program – Why? How? Results?

The mission statement for the quarantine program can be summarized as, To ensure that Earth and its ecology would be protected from any possible hazard associated with the return of lunar material.  To accomplish this mission the astronauts from Apollo Missions 11, 12, and 14, their spacecraft, and the lunar material (the regolith and rocks brought back by the astronauts), all were quarantined for 21 days while an extensive search for extraterrestrial life forms or possible physical hazards involved in the astronauts exposure to the material was conducted.  This presentation will review the origin and implementation of the program and provide a summary of the program’s findings.

Dr. Simmonds was the Institutional Veterinarian for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and Professor of Physiology in the UNR Medical School for over 18 years, retiring in 2006 as Emeritus Director and Professor.   He also was the founder and initial Director of the UNR Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Before joining NSHE in 1988 he had a distinguished career of over 24 years with the Department of Defense, 21 years plus as an U.S. Air Force officer, retiring with the rank of Colonel.  Approximately seven years of his Air Force career was spent “on loan” to NASA where he managed the animal testing portions of the Lunar Quarantine Program for Apollo Missions 14 through 17, an inflight experiment to study cosmic radiation effects of spaceflight involving five mice flown to the Moon and back on the Apollo 17 mission, and, subsequently, a joint US-USSR biological research program studying the physiological effects of the weightless environment of spaceflight.

Since retiring from the NSHE/UNR in 2006, he continued to teach a Fall semester course he founded over 20 years ago.  He is an active member of several non-profit organizations in the Reno area, most notably the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, co-located in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, and the Sparks Museum & Cultural Center in Sparks.

The lecture is included in general admission. Admission is $8 for adults and free for members and children age 17 and under.


07/23/2019 14:00:0007/23/2019 15:00:00America/Los_AngelesApollo 11 50th Anniversary Lecture: The Lunar Quarantine Program by Dr. Richard SimmondsReno, NV
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