Do Austronauts Have To go Through US Costumes?

Since we opened general questions feature to the public, people have been sending us crazy questions that have to do with scienceand technology, and really just about anything. We take the questions that we get and try to pick the most interesting questions out of the bunch.

You have questions? Let us know! and We’ll try to answer them to the best of our ability.

This week’s question comes from Steven S. He Asked:

Do Astronauts have to fill out an Agriculture, Customs, and Immigration form when they come back to Earth from one of their missions?

The answer: No – But they have in the past as a symbolic gesture.

What? did you really think that just because you came from the moon you don’t have to sign any type of paperwork with the US Costumes department? of course you do, you know, just in case you brought back any Illegal Aliens, that would really be a bad thing for the US.

Before the astronauts had the moment of fame for being the first Astronauts to set foot on the moon, there were met with costumes.  What did Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins have to declare? Moon rocks, moon dust and other lunar samples.

The question of them having to fill out the US Costumes Form has been going around for several years, and then when the image was introduced into the internet, everyone started to think that they were forced to fill out a US Costumes form. Really, NASA had them fill out the form as a joke, and as an iconic figure, I mean, if you were the first man on Uranus would you not like to have a certificate that says “point of origin: Uranus” I would.

But the answer is no, they didn’t have to do it, it was a symbolic gesture. The other people that have gone out to space are greeted by their loved ones and they go straight home unless they have to be checked out by doctors for complications of being out on space with 0 gravity.

NASA astronauts on Earth however, DO have to go through customs, but for more conventional reasons.

Astronauts on missions headed for the International Space Station must train in Japan, Canada, Europe and Russia in order to practice with the different systems, modules and tools they’ll use while visiting the outpost. So that’s really the only times they have to go through US Costumes. Want to know more? read Space.com

How do you like that?