After 'Apollo 11': New short film goes into 'Quarantine' after first moon landing

Long before millions of people from around the globe isolated themselves to protect against a pandemic, three astronauts spent 21 days secluded from the rest of the world after being exposed to the moon.

"Apollo 11: Quarantine," a new short film from the team behind the feature-length documentary "Apollo 11," tells the lesser-known story that followed the historic first moon landing. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins entered quarantine to protect the rest of humanity from any possible "moon germs" and to preserve the moon rocks they returned with them from being contaminated by life on Earth.

"I am honored to be working again with so many talented filmmakers and the innovative teams at NEON, CNN Films and IMAX," Todd Douglas Miller, "Apollo 11" and "Apollo 11: Quarantine" director and producer, said in statement released by NEON on Thursday (Jan. 14). "And [I am] very excited for audiences to experience a little-known part of history — an enduring message of hope during these unprecedented times."

Related: NASA's historic Apollo 11 moon landing in pictures

“Apollo 11: Quarantine," a new short film from the team behind the feature-length documentary "Apollo 11," tells the lesser-known story of what happened after the first moon landing.  (Image credit: NEON/CNN Films)

Like "Apollo 11," "Apollo 11: Quarantine" features never-before-seen 70mm large-format footage that was discovered among the holdings of the National Archives. The new 23-minute film also forgoes a narrator or modern interviews to allow the NASA archival audio and footage to create an immersive experience, bringing the viewer back into the events of the summer of 1969 and inside quarantine with the astronauts.

Co-presented by NEON and CNN Films, "Apollo 11: Quarantine" will be released exclusively in IMAX theaters beginning Jan. 29 in select locations. The film will then be available to stream via premium on-demand services beginning Feb. 5.

Miller produced "Apollo 11: Quarantine" along with Laura Kirby-Miller, Thomas Baxley Petersen and Evan Krauss. Executive producers were Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton for CNN Films, Josh Braun for Submarine and Tom Quinn for NEON.

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.