Apollo 11 Hawaii customs form

How Do We Welcome Astronauts Back to Earth? By Making Them Go Through Customs

…Hadfield and his colleagues weren’t the first to take their triumphant return with a little dose of bureaucracy. The Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins had to do something similar after their return from the moon in July 1969. On the way home, after their splashdown in the Pacific, they passed through the Honolulu Airport. Where they filed a standard customs form.

The flight number they listed? APOLLO 11.

The goods they declared? MOON ROCK, MOON DUST, and SAMPLES.

And the route they laid out? Florida’s Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) to Honolulu, Hawaii. With a brief stopover at MOON.

A copy of the U.S. Customs form filled out by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins after their return to Earth on July 24, 1969.

Credit: NASA/U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

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