Story summary.US, as part of a very long running program to put man on moon, has put the first satellite in orbit around earth. A (solo) manned satellite, because technology for precise automatic steering up in orbit is not available.
As soon as the satellite goes in orbit, the pilot dies of heart attack. No mystery there, just an ordinary bad coincidence.
Dilemma faced by bosses down: The dead pilot up there is worth more to the ground than a live one, because now satellite can stay up there & continue bringing in telemetry data! But public opinion will force them to bring the body down, a project involving building a new identical machine, work that inevitably kills a few workers as part of construction accidents!
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding, March 1956.
Download full text as part of the scans of Astounding (British edition), August 1956.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Algis Budrys.