The Null Device

How to insure a space mission

When NASA were launching their manned space missions, one dilemma they were faced with is how to provide life insurance, so that if the astronauts perished, their families were provided for. Space missions, by their risky nature, are uninsurable by conventional means. The solution they came up with was ingenious: printing "insurance covers", or limited-edition postcards, which were signed by the astronauts and given to their families immediately before launch. In the event of the astronauts' death, their value would increase spectacularly, meaning that the families could sell them and live off the proceeds.

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