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The E-Sylum (10/10/2010)

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American Numismatic Society librarian Elizabeth Hahn writes: "I came across an interesting article that might be of interest to E-Sylum readers; space currency!" -Editor

Space Quids Colors Space Quids

Scientists have come up with a new currency designed to be used by inter-planetary travellers.

It is called the Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, or Quid.

It is designed to withstand the stresses of space travel and has no sharp edges or chemicals that could hurt space tourists.

It was designed for the foreign exchange company Travelex by scientists from the National Space Centre and the University of Leicester.

"None of the existing payment systems we use on earth - like cash, credit or debit cards - could be used in space," said Professor George Fraser from the University of Leicester.

"Anything with sharp edges, like coins, would be a risk to astronauts while the chips and magnetic strips used in our cards on Earth would be damaged beyond repair by cosmic radiation," he added.

Using any sort of technology that involved sending and receiving information from Earth would also be impractical because of the distances involved.

Quids are made of the polymer best-known for its use in non-stick pans.

The [Quids] have moulded edges so that they will not damage anything if they accidentally float free in zero gravity.

National Space Centre scientists predict that regular trips into space will be commonplace in the next five years and that tourist facilities on the Moon are a distinct possibility by 2050.

This sounds like something I'd make up for April Fool's Day, but the BBC wouldn't lie to us, would they? Hmmm. A form of money that's round and isn't electronic... I've heard of something like that - they're called "coins"...

Speaking of making stuff up, I'm reminded of those corporate team-building exercises where people are asked "Tell us something about you that most people wouldn't know." Since my life is so ordinary, I make stuff up, like "I played bongos for the Stones on Sympathy for the Devil" or, "I was born a woman..." -Editor

To read the complete article, see: New currency for space travellers (

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