Recent news strongly suggests that NASA has allowed for astronauts to fly after the mass consumption of alcohol. NASA has denied any allegations at the moment, but says they are investigating into the matter. In the event that these stories are true, it certainly raises very important issues.
The space program has had millions upon millions of dollars invested into it. Potential astronauts supposedly go through harsh conditioning and a very selective process before even gaining the opportunity to fly in space. I really cannot believe that after all the money and all the effort put into the program that something like this would happen. It was not long ago when I was a little kid and gazed into the stars hoping to be an astronaut one day. It hurts to think that people that would finally achieve a goal would risk their lives on something as shallow as a drink.
In all honesty I am surprised of the negligence and overall lack of attention this subject may have garnered before this article. How hard would it be to implement a breathalizer before takeoff? Or how about this: astronauts are held in quarantine days before liftoff, why not just remove all alcohol the day before a launch? Would it really cause that much grief?
With all of the recent manpower that has gone behind police efforts to crack down on drunk driving, I wonder how NASA conveniently slipped through the system. More importantly, everybody knows that money has been taken away from our space program these past few years, and it just dawned on me that this is certainly not the kind of press coverage NASA could be using in perhaps its twilight years.
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