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Steve
27th July 07, 12:39 AM
Report: Drunk astronauts allowed on shuttle
updated 5:31 p.m. EDT, Thu July 26, 2007

http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/cfu0136l.jpgCAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- Astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk on at least two occasions, an aviation weekly reported Thursday.

An independent panel reportedly found that flight surgeons allowed intoxicated astronauts to fly on space shuttle.

It cited a special panel studying astronaut health, which found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch that was within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology. It reported the finding on its Web site.

A NASA official confirmed the health report contains claims of alcohol use by astronauts before launch, but said the information is based on anonymous interviews and is unsubstantiated. The official didn't want to be named because NASA plans a news conference Friday to discuss the panel's findings.

The panel was created following the arrest in February of former space shuttle flier Lisa Nowak, who was implicated in a love triangle.

NASA's space operations chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, said Thursday it would be inappropriate for him to discuss the matter before the report is released on Friday.

Asked if he had ever personally had to deal with a safety issue involving an inebriated astronaut in space, Gerstenmaier replied: "The obvious answer is no. I've never had any instances of that."

"There's not been a disciplinary action or anything I've been involved with regarding this type of activity," he said.

In Washington, the chairman of the House Science and Technology committee said he hadn't seen the report, "but if the reports of drunken astronauts being allowed to fly prove to be true, I think the agency will have a lot of explaining to do."

"That's not the 'right stuff' as far as I'm concerned," said Bart Gordon, D-Tennessee.

The Aviation Week report doesn't make clear when the alleged incidents occurred, nor does it say whether the intoxication involved crew members who have no role in flying the shuttle or whether it was the pilot and commander.

NASA plans to release findings of a pair of reviews -- one by the outside committee and the other by an internal panel -- into astronauts' health Friday.

The independent panel's NASA consultant and its eight members, which include Air Force experts in aerospace medicine and clinical psychiatry, did not immediately return phone messages or e-mails from the Associated Press Thursday afternoon.

Aviation Week said the report citing drunkenness does not deal directly with Nowak or mention any other astronaut by name.

Nowak is accused of attacking the girlfriend of a fellow astronaut -- her romantic rival -- with pepper spray in a parking lot at Orlando International Airport. Fired by NASA in March, she has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault.

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Link. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/07/26/astronaut.drinking.ap/)

NASA has no funding cause it spends teh moneys on BOOZE.

Steve
27th July 07, 12:42 AM
Also, I'd be drunk FOR SURE before I was shot into space.

Antifa
27th July 07, 10:40 AM
Also, I'd be drunk FOR SURE before I was shot into space.

If they shoot you into space I'll need a drink also.

TM
27th July 07, 10:54 AM
WTF? They're acting like commercial airline pilots.

Teh El Macho
27th July 07, 11:54 AM
Except that each flight cost a kazillion-bazillion of taxpayer's dollars. If a shuttle's flight were to end in catastrophy due to the pilot being drunk, that would not be a tragedy, but a fucking, unjustifiable outrage.

Neildo
27th July 07, 12:18 PM
Can you imagine drunken stumblage in reduced gravity? Fuck that would be annoying.


And what if you wanted a smoke? it's not like you could go outside...

WarPhalange
27th July 07, 12:43 PM
Except that each flight cost a kazillion-bazillion of taxpayer's dollars. If a shuttle's flight were to end in catastrophy due to the pilot being drunk, that would not be a tragedy, but a fucking, unjustifiable outrage.

On the bright side, the astronauts would be called heros.

billy sol hurok
27th July 07, 03:29 PM
Can you imagine drunken stumblage in reduced gravity? Fuck that would be annoying.

Not to mention putting your foot on the floor to stop the bed from spinning.

Neildo
27th July 07, 04:53 PM
"oh man i feel like my head is spinning....oh wait i really AM spinning. fuckin zero g..."

StealthNinjaScyther
27th July 07, 05:54 PM
It gets worst. Two other stories out of NASA from Thursday:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/26/nasa.computers.reut/index.html

http://www.local6.com/technology/13763532/detail.html

And not from NASA, but still space related:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/27/spaceport.blast/index.html?iref=topnews

Space travel sure has come a long way...

indy007
31st July 07, 01:26 PM
Well, it's something you have to put into perspective. Think about what you'd do if you went through the following...

Seperated from your family for several days before launch and kept in quarantine.

Dressed for launch, which includes either a diaper or belt with condom that runs to a tube, to a bladder to collect your pee. You can't take this suit off until you're in orbit.

Now, you're bussed to the RV from hell and loaded into it with up to 7 other people. You're stuck there for hours with normal & emergency holds. If the launch is scrubbed, you get to go through the first 2 steps all over again. Oh yeah, your "escape system" for emergencies isn't actually practical, so if something goes wrong, you're gonna die. Oh yeah, something like 1 in 5 people that have ridden this thing have died in it.

So you're trapped in this RV, and you're bolted to just about 6,800,000 pounds of thrust in the form of liquid & solid rocket fuel. 5.6 million of that comes from a pair of solid rocket boosters. Once they're lit, they can't be turned off. They also have/had a known blow-by problem which destroyed the Challenger. You've got another massive fuel tank feeding turbo pumps in the bottom of the shuttle. That can actually be controlled and is a pretty safe system... except the fuel tank sheds pieces and punctures holes in Orbiter's heat shields, which destroyed the Columbia. That problem has been there since the beginning and still goes on to this day.

If I weren't MC or pilot... I'd be drunk as hell. If anybody is actually interested in the topic, get "Riding Rockets" by the astronaut Mike Mullane. Read it, and you'll be suprised all of the astronauts aren't complete lunatics by now.

WarPhalange
31st July 07, 01:33 PM
Well, it's something you have to put into perspective. Think about what you'd do if you went through the following...

Seperated from your family for several days before launch and kept in quarantine.

I quarantine myself in my room 99% of the time.


Dressed for launch, which includes either a diaper or belt with condom that runs to a tube, to a bladder to collect your pee. You can't take this suit off until you're in orbit.

Pfft, I do that anyway.


Now, you're bussed to the RV from hell and loaded into it with up to 7 other people. You're stuck there for hours with normal & emergency holds. If the launch is scrubbed, you get to go through the first 2 steps all over again. Oh yeah, your "escape system" for emergencies isn't actually practical, so if something goes wrong, you're gonna die. Oh yeah, something like 1 in 5 people that have ridden this thing have died in it.

So you're trapped in this RV, and you're bolted to just about 6,800,000 pounds of thrust in the form of liquid & solid rocket fuel. 5.6 million of that comes from a pair of solid rocket boosters. Once they're lit, they can't be turned off. They also have/had a known blow-by problem which destroyed the Challenger. You've got another massive fuel tank feeding turbo pumps in the bottom of the shuttle. That can actually be controlled and is a pretty safe system... except the fuel tank sheds pieces and punctures holes in Orbiter's heat shields, which destroyed the Columbia. That problem has been there since the beginning and still goes on to this day.

If I weren't MC or pilot... I'd be drunk as hell. If anybody is actually interested in the topic, get "Riding Rockets" by the astronaut Mike Mullane. Read it, and you'll be suprised all of the astronauts aren't complete lunatics by now.

If I make it, I am one of the handful of people to have been in space. If I die, I get to be called a hero. That's pretty re-assuring.