And here is a scan of the customs declaration.
Three signed names on the document are (obviously):
Neil Armstrong, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin j.r., and Michael Collins.
Their cargo was interestingly enough:
moon rock & moon dust samples.
What really gave me a chuckle was looking at where they departed from. It simply says, “MOON”..hehe.
8 thoughts on “Astronauts had to go through customs upon returning from trip to moon.”
I doubt that they “had” to go through customs; I’m pretty sure that they did this as a joke, and that the astronauts, NASA, and the U.S. Customs Department were all in on this joke. Although it’s tough to imagine any governmental department as having a sense of humor, this appears to be a historic example of the kind of imaginative, modern, science-is-fun attitude that prevailed in the US during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s a joke about imagining extraterrestrial travel as becoming commonplace enough to someday require a standard customs protocol. There’s also a bit of tongue-in-cheek attitude about typically pervasive governmental red tape thrown in there for good measure. I miss the days when there seemed to be actual human beings in charge of stuff like this. 😉
I just heard an episode of This American Life where they interviewed an astronaut, and they said that this was true- even to this day. They said that they even have to fill out a travel reimbursement form, and where it says “Means of Transportation” they write “Shuttle.”
Our tax dollars at work. 😉
There’s no bureaucracy like American bureaucracy!
the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy- unknown
ODT – I doubt it was a joke… more likely it was just to set a precedent, just in case space travel does become commonplace.
But they never went to the moon, it was a movie set. 🙄
You’re probably right. However, I do remember that people (and sometimes institutions) did things like this back then in a sort of “isn’t it cute that we still have to do this” manner, as if to demonstrate how fast everything was changing as a result of the increasingly widespread implementation of so many advanced technologies and their sometimes humorous effects on the entrenched mundanities of everyday life. This has the feel of one of those quaint up-to-the-minute Life or Look magazine articles.
All to make it more believeable 😈 They just can’t leave anything to chance those NASA people. 😛