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(Slashdot)   Apollo 11 astronauts could not afford life insurance, so they wrote their own with a pen after realizing that "historic" has a value   (science.slashdot.org) divider line 18
    More: Unlikely, astronauts  
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3586 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Aug 2012 at 1:03 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-31 01:06:20 PM
24.media.tumblr.com


How much for the pen?
 
2012-08-31 01:06:22 PM
I can't help but feel this story would be better told if it were one or two steps MORE removed. It's not enough to link to an aggregator that links to the story. We really need a tumblr link to a blog that links to an aggregator that links to the story.

I mean, it's like, come on.
 
2012-08-31 01:07:00 PM
Unlikely in what way subby?

Unlikely they did this?

Unlikely that they would have been able to sell them for a hefty price?
 
2012-08-31 01:18:35 PM
Aldrin and Collins were military officers and thus had SGLI and possibly one or more of the supplemental private military mutual benefit insurance policies (AAFMMA, USAA, et al.). But those autographs would still have been worth a hell of a lot more to their wives and kids than the insurance benefits would have been.
 
2012-08-31 01:27:07 PM
Think of the value if they would have had the foresight to get the stamps cancelled at the post office on the moon while they were there. Astronomical is my guess.
 
2012-08-31 01:27:27 PM
Fark: the news aggregator-aggregator.
 
2012-08-31 01:30:00 PM
Man, that slashdot thread goes from zero to derp in about 3 nested posts
 
2012-08-31 01:45:55 PM
Fark: the news aggregator-aggregator.

That's so meta.....
 
2012-08-31 02:14:32 PM
"Apollo 11 astronauts could not afford life insurance"

Ok, that's just patently false. These gentlemen all earned a nice wage and had very good benefits. Now I imagine it's true that no one wanted to underwrite that risk, and I don't blame them but each and every family would have been entitled to their survivor benefits just as if the had been killed in a war. They were military folk after all. They just couldn't buy supplemental private policies which is understandable in this unique case. I'm gonna go ahead and say the families would have been taken care of had they died.
 
2012-08-31 02:14:53 PM

HopScotchNSoda: Aldrin and Collins were military officers and thus had SGLI and possibly one or more of the supplemental private military mutual benefit insurance policies (AAFMMA, USAA, et al.). But those autographs would still have been worth a hell of a lot more to their wives and kids than the insurance benefits would have been.


That's why they signed hundreds.
 
2012-08-31 02:17:15 PM

Do the needful: Think of the value if they would have had the foresight to get the stamps cancelled at the post office on the moon while they were there. Astronomical is my guess.


Straight from "The Man Who Sold the Moon," eh?
 
2012-08-31 02:28:16 PM

JohnBigBootay: "Apollo 11 astronauts could not afford life insurance"

Ok, that's just patently false. These gentlemen all earned a nice wage and had very good benefits. Now I imagine it's true that no one wanted to underwrite that risk, and I don't blame them but each and every family would have been entitled to their survivor benefits just as if the had been killed in a war. They were military folk after all. They just couldn't buy supplemental private policies which is understandable in this unique case. I'm gonna go ahead and say the families would have been taken care of had they died.


I think it was poorly worded, it was more "they couldn't afford life insurance on going to the moon", which a policy covering that, if a company even wanted to do it (which it sounds like they didn't) would have priced that way out of range of any normal person. Obviously, they could afford regular "life insurance", but, that wouldn't cover dying in a rocket ship.

Honestly, it seems like that should be a governmental thing.... the government wants to go to the moon, that should be part of the costs.... if the mission goes wrong and the astronauts die, their survivors get a healthy stipend. Whether they want to do that with a 3rd party insurance company or just figure those (possible) costs in, that would be up to them.
 
2012-08-31 02:30:55 PM

JohnBigBootay: each and every family would have been entitled to their survivor benefits just as if the had been killed in a war. They were military folk after all. They just couldn't buy supplemental private policies which is understandable in this unique case.


Armstrong was a civilian. Eliott See (astronaut trainee who died in a plane crash) was also a civilian. Harrison "Jack" Schmidt was a civilian.

Armstrong had been in the Navy and flew combat missions over Korea, but he left active duty in the 1950s and resigned his reserve commission a few years later, well before he was selected for the astronaut programme, let alone walked on the Moon.
 
2012-08-31 02:31:18 PM

dletter: I think it was poorly worded


True. Regardless the actual circumstances I'm pretty sure there would have been some sort of executive order issued soon after the tragedy had said tragedy occurred.
 
2012-08-31 02:41:01 PM
JohnBigBootay

They were military folk after all.


N. Armstrong was a civilian
 
2012-08-31 05:20:56 PM

JohnBigBootay: "Apollo 11 astronauts could not afford life insurance"

Ok, that's just patently false. These gentlemen all earned a nice wage and had very good benefits. Now I imagine it's true that no one wanted to underwrite that risk, and I don't blame them but each and every family would have been entitled to their survivor benefits just as if the had been killed in a war. They were military folk after all. They just couldn't buy supplemental private policies which is understandable in this unique case. I'm gonna go ahead and say the families would have been taken care of had they died.


Bolded for emphasis, and the whole problem WAS the pretty much no company was willing to underwrite a policy to cover "moon disaster" without a ludicrous amount of money--it was cheaper to have autographs as a supplemental form of insurance than it would have been to go through the one company that would be willing to write a policy.

It should also be noted that it was, at the time, very much a Big If whether they'd make it back; they already had lost three astronauts in the Apollo program (Apollo 1), and the lunar module was untested in lunar environments to the point that optimistic chances only were 50/50 that they'd make it back and the president wouldn't have had to break out this speech. (Hell, Neil Armstrong admitted to a recurrent nightmare of being marooned on the moon--another Fark link points to that one.)
 
2012-09-01 03:10:09 AM

LazarusLong42: Straight from "The Man Who Sold the Moon," eh?


What good would a moon discussion be without a Heinlein reference? He's a big part of why we went, and was involved in the whole thing.
 
2012-09-01 02:01:50 PM

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Man, that slashdot thread goes from zero to derp in about 3 nested posts


FTFY
 
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