Space travel occasionally seems taken for granted. This was not the case during the Apollo missions. The mission of Apollo 8 was to go around the moon; do a drive-by so to speak. There was a lot of concern about the missions back then. During one of regularly scheduled meetings with the spouses, one spouse spoke up… she nervously asked what the percentage chance was there that her husband would return to Earth safely. The NASA employee responded, “about 50/50.” She breathed a sigh of relief. 50% survival rate was far better than she had imagined.
Interestingly, Astronauts have no place giving a thumbs up or thumbs down on a mission. It’s really mission control’s call. For this reason, sometimes the spouses are a better metric in showing how nervous the astronauts are for their mission.