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The Apollo 11 Astronauts Had To Fill Out Customs Paperwork After Landing On The Moon

Nothing to declare, except moon rocks and moon dust.

Posted on August 2, 2015, at 5:01 p.m. ET

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin shared a piece of NASA history on his Facebook page Sunday: the U.S. customs form the Apollo 11 crew filled out when returning from the first moon landing.

The standard form for international travelers was waiting for Aldrin and fellow crew members Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins at Honolulu Airport on July 24, 1969, after their landmark moon walk.

With their place of departure listed as "moon," each astronaut signed their name.

They also dutifully declared their cargo of moon rocks and moon dust.

NASA / Via

Aldrin said he posted the General Declaration form in response to frequent questions about the process in which astronauts returned home after eight days in space.

The form shows none of the three men were sick as they arrived, but the next answer hints at the grave uncertainty associated with space exploration at the time. To the standardized question, "Any other condition on board which may lead to the spread of disease?" the astronauts indicated TBD. Aldrin wrote they were waiting for any potential "moon disease" that might show symptoms after their return to earth.

It's a bit of bureaucracy that carried over to modern missions. Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield described going through an airport in Kazakhstan following one mission. NASA even carried the returning astronauts' passports and visas, which Hadfield said was a "funny but necessary detail of returning to Earth."