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The Galactic Booze Cruise

Posted on Jul 27, 2007
space shuttle

An independent panel set up by NASA to evaluate health issues at the agency has made an unexpected discovery: In at least two instances, astronauts were allowed to fly after drinking heavily, despite concern by doctors and colleagues. It’s not clear whether the flights involved spacecraft or training jets.

AP via Yahoo:

In a statement Friday, NASA said that it is unaware of any astronauts who were drunk before a flight but that it is investigating. It said the panel failed to give the space agency any details of the allegations.

NASA has long had a policy that prohibits any drinking in the 12 hours before an astronaut flies a training jet. The space agency said that policy has historically been applied to spaceflights, too. But as a result of the panel’s report, the rule will officially be applied to spaceflights, NASA said.

The panel said that astronauts and flight surgeons told the committee about heavy drinking by crew members just before flights. Also, the panel said alcohol is freely used in the crew quarters, where astronauts are quarantined at the Kennedy Space Center in the three days before launch.

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By PaulMagillSmith, July 29, 2007 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

So I guess we have a new category of crime for the police to hound the populace about FUI…Flying Under the Influence. Maybe the ask-them-nots should switch to pot or eating hash. Then they could fly high with their feet on the ground.

Frankly, I think I’d feel safer flying with a pothead ask-them-not than a drunken one. The only problem is the spacecraft probably wouldn’t even be able to get off the ground because of all the munchies they would smuggle on board LOL.

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By lawlessone, July 27, 2007 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment
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Before hearing that NASA was allowing drunk pilots to fly, I had always assumed it did not take a rocket scientist to know drinking and driving don’t mix.

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By P. T., July 27, 2007 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

All work and no play makes Jack a dull astronaut.  You can quote me on that.

They’ll be reasonably sober when it comes time to do their assigned tasks.

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By CitizenDefender, July 27, 2007 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

NASA should provide this same techology to the automobile manufacturers for use on all new cars, trucks, SUV, etc.
The government could require retofitting of all vehicles already in use (for free of course).
Then the American highways will be made much safer as the “Auto Astronaut” switch automatically engages when the vehicle ignition is turned on.
As the Swedish might say, Americans can then “Fartlek” all the way home in safety.

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By John Borowski, July 27, 2007 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
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The mathematical formula is Women + Men + Alcohol = Whoopee

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By Howie, July 27, 2007 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
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Why should anyone care if some astronauts, who are about to be strapped into a gas can for like a gazillion hours before they can even take off, get sloshed? The mission commander and no one else, that’s who. Besides, most of these folks are mission specialists who have almost nothing to do until they’re in orbit.

This a total non-story (just like the diapered astronaut drama). It’s these wonderful distractions that keep us from dealing with the fact that our democracy is being driven into the ground. I’m more concerned about the sober politicians than drunk astronauts.

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