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Buzz Aldrin Reveals Customs Document He Had To Sign When Returning From Space

by : Hannah Smith on : 29 Jul 2021 09:52
Buzz Aldrin Reveals Customs Document He Had To Sign When Returning From SpacePA/@TheRealBuzz/Twitter

We’ve all had to sign those pesky customs forms when returning from holiday, but have you ever heard of astronauts having to do the same thing?

You’d think the opportunity to bring in taxable products would be pretty limited on a journey to the moon and back, but that didn’t stop NASA from issuing the Apollo 11 astronauts with their very own customs declaration forms upon returning from their history-making voyage.

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NASA customs declaration form (NASA/U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)NASA/U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

In a tweet yesterday, July 28, Buzz Aldrin – the second man on the moon – shared his unearthed copy of the form he, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins were asked to sign, writing ‘imagine spending 8 days in space, including nearly 22 hours on the Moon and returning home to Earth only to have to go through customs!’

The form was initially dug up by Space.com in 2019, who verified its legitimacy with NASA. According to the space agency, the customs form really was given to the astronauts to sign following the moon landings in 1969, although it wasn’t entirely serious.

The crew of Apollo 11 (PA Images)PA Images
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‘Yes, it’s authentic,’ NASA spokesperson John Yembrick said, adding ‘it was a little joke at the time.’

According to Space.com, among the items listed as being brought back into the US by the Apollo 11 crew were ‘moon rocks’ and ‘moon dust.’ To make matters worse, after filling in the joke forms, the three astronauts were also required to quarantine for three weeks to make sure they hadn’t brought back any moon germs.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Technology

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@TheRealBuzz/Twitter
  1. @TheRealBuzz/Twitter

    Imagine spending 8 days in space, including nearly 22 hours on the Moon and returning home to Earth only to have to go through customs!