Please step out of the shuttle and walk the vapor trail Sir…

It would appear that there may have been cases were we had astronauts piloting space missions with blood alcohol levels in excess of the legal limit…

At least twice, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk, an aviation weekly reported Thursday, citing a special panel studying astronaut health. – [Yahoo/AP]

Considering the rather obscene cost of the equipment that our tax precious dollars have been spent constructing, I would have thought that there would be at least as much emphasis placed on an astronauts drinking habits, as there are on the average American Joe Shmoe that gets pulled over for driving under the influence of “one too many”.

The article points out that it hasn’t actually been proved that they actually flew with over the limit BACs, but given the circumstances, I will honestly admit to being very suspicious if guess these guys are not found to have been “piloting under the influence”. They may get off with little more than a slap on the wrist either way. I dunno if legislation even exists that covers DUI in space…

07/28/2007 – UPDATE :
So apparently the study did in fact find that on at least two occasions, astronauts had been allowed to pilot spacecraft while under the influence… Oddly, the article fails to state what penalties will be assessed, or even if there will be any… I guess we shall have to wait and see won’t we…

Report: Astronauts drank before launch – [Yahoo/AP]

Study finds drunk astronauts allowed to fly? – [Yahoo/Reuters]


3 Responses to “Please step out of the shuttle and walk the vapor trail Sir…”

  1. July 26, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Do we really need legislation for this? I assure you, if I showed up to work drunk, I would be looking for a new job very quickly. And my job doesn’t even involve driving or operating machinery. Surely NASA’s standards of behavior for people flying space vehicles are at least as high as the standards of behavior for people who sit in cubicles staring at computer monitors all day. Or maybe not…

  2. July 27, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Well my question about legislation was admittedly tongue-in-cheek, but the fact that this may have occurred on at least two occasions, in spite of the flight surgeons warnings, leads me to believe that the astronauts are being allowed way more leeway than would generally be legal.

    Unfortunately, especially in high profile cases like these, people tend to resort to cover-ups rather than rectification…

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