Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins Go Through Customs and Sign Immigration Form After the First Moon Landing (1969)

Above, find a doc­u­ment signed 50 years ago by Neil Arm­strong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins after they returned from the first manned trip to the moon. The three astro­nauts came down in the Pacif­ic Ocean and were tak­en to Hon­olu­lu on July 24, 1969, where they sup­pos­ed­ly signed this immi­gra­tion form, declar­ing a car­go of moon rocks and dust. Pres­i­dent Nixon was good enough to let them back into the coun­try.

The form, NASA spokesper­son John Yem­brick told, is authen­tic. And, he says, it was a joke. He does not, how­ev­er, say exact­ly when the form was signed, either on the day the crew splashed down or some­time after­ward. They did not actu­al­ly arrive in Hon­olu­lu until the 26th. After their return,

The astro­nauts were trapped inside a NASA trail­er as part of a quar­an­tine effort just in case they brought back any germs or dis­ease from the moon. They even wore spe­cial bio­log­i­cal con­tain­ment suits when they walked out on the deck of the USS Hor­net after being retrieved. 

NASA trans­port­ed them to Hous­ton, quar­an­tine trail­er and all, and they emerged from iso­la­tion three weeks lat­er.

Astro­nauts these days most­ly just need a show­er when they touch down, although inter­net savvy Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion astro­naut Chris Had­field did tell some cus­toms relat­ed sto­ries on a Red­dit AMA—maybe noth­ing so weird as the cur­rent space snor­kel­ing up there, but still a pret­ty great read.

Note: An ear­li­er ver­sion of this post orig­i­nal­ly appeared on our site in Decem­ber 2013.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

“Moon Hoax Not”: Short Film Explains Why It Was Impos­si­ble to Fake the Moon Land­ing

Michio Kaku Schools Takes on Moon Land­ing-Con­spir­a­cy Believ­er on His Sci­ence Fan­tas­tic Pod­cast

Dark Side of the Moon: A Mock­u­men­tary on Stan­ley Kubrick and the Moon Land­ing Hoax

Find Astron­o­my Cours­es in our Col­lec­tion of 1300 Free Cours­es Online

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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