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It’s nothing to do with commercial bias. The personal effects allowance was assigned in order to aid astronaut morale. If they’re sacrificing allowance for personal items commercially that creates a perverse and distracting situation. Also personal effects are supposed to go through a approval process, which at least some of these covers bypassed. Do you really want astronauts making trade offs between genuinely personal items and effectively commercial cargo?



"The personal effects allowance was assigned in order to aid astronaut morale."

This strikes me as a weird reason to object: surely, Getting significant financial gain could help aid morale.

I'm not in favour of astronauts using their launches to establish a for-profit souvenir business. But I'm not objecting to that on the grounds of their morale.


They needed to be recorded and approved as safe for the cabin. These were smuggled. It was a breach, and was punished.

If they'd applied, who knows, they might have been approved. Afterward, everybody talks about how awful it was. But that was just blather.


Carrying commercially valuable goods can also be a source of pressure and anxiety. It's a messy situation to get into.




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