To answer the question on the mind of everyone who has ever seen the movies Armageddon or Gravity, there are two excellent tax breaks for (spoiler alert!) astronauts who die in the line of duty.
Internal Revenue Code section 692 provides that such astronauts literally do not have to pay any
federal income taxes for two years -- the year of their death in the line
of duty and the year before. It doesn't matter if they made a billion dollars selling gold or bitcoins. Zero taxes. If some federal income taxes were withheld
from their paycheck, they get that money back from the IRS.
Lance Bass can rest assured that his estate tax bill is cut in half if he were to have a fatal accident, thanks to Internal Revenue Code section 2201.
The above tax breaks were enacted in November of 2003 by the Military Family Tax Relief Act, and they apply retroactively to all astronauts who died after December 31, 2002. The provisions were specifically addressing the seven astronauts (six Americans and one Israeli) who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of February 1, 2003, at least one of whom presumably had over $1 million in assets (the 2003 estate tax threshold).
While some pundits (Foreign Policy) may bemoan that Americans are falling behind the Chinese in the technological space race, Americans are still way ahead in the tax policy space race.