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The losing hand: tradition and superstition in spaceflight
It may seem incredible that in the world of manned spaceflight, of high-tech mission control and protocols for everything, there is a body of folklore, superstition, and tradition that is followed by each and every crewmember as if performing a sacred rite. Invocation of spirits of the dead, holy water, lucky card games, talismans, ritual words to be uttered at certain times—it reads like the initiation into some secret lodge.