Neil Armstrong Played Ukulele in Quarantine After Returning from the Moon


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but oh, how we wish we had a video of this moment! Still, the image of Neil Armstrong playing ukulele—taken when he returned to Earth after became the first man to walk on the moon—is breathtaking. In this photo, taken around July 27, 1969, Armstrong and his crew ride out a 21-day quarantine at Ellington Air Force Base. And while they waited, Armstrong strummed his ukulele.

In another photo, courtesy of NASA, Neil Armstrong plays ukulele while his Apollo 11 crewmembers, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr. and Michael Collins, look through a window of their quarantine chamber.


neil armstrong paying ukulele with apollo 11 astronauts in quarantine after returning from the moon

Here’s what NASA wrote about this moment:

Interior view of a Mobile Quarantine Facility, showing the Apollo 11 crewmen soon after they arrived at Ellington Air Force Base very early Sunday after a flight from Hawaii aboard a U.S. Air Force C-141 jet transport. A large crowd was present to welcome the astronauts home to Houston. Neil A. Armstrong is strumming on a ukulele. Michael Collins (right foreground) and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. (right background) are looking out the window. The other people in the picture are MQF support personnel. This picture was taken during brief welcome home ceremonies. The crew of the historical Apollo 11 lunar landing mission remained in the MQF until they arrived at the Crew Reception Area of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at the Manned Spacecraft Center. The astronauts will be released from quarantine on Aug. 11, 1969.