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Astronauts flew while 'dangerously drunk'

Discussion in 'News & Events' started by Hails, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Hails

    Hails Well-Known Member

    July 27, 2007 09:25am

    ASTRONAUTS were allowed to fly although their colleagues and flight surgeons warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk, according to media reports.

    An internal NASA panel also reported "heavy use of alcohol'' within the standard 12-hour "bottle to throttle'' abstinence rule applied to NASA flight-crew members, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine said.

    A NASA spokesman was not immediately available for comment, but NASA will hold a press conference today.

    In anticipation of the report's formal release, one US politician was primed to seek answers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    "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,'' said Bart Gordon, chairman of the House of Representatives' science and technology committee.

    "That's not the 'right stuff' as far as I'm concerned,'' he said, alluding to a 1983 film about early NASA crews, The Right Stuff.

    The internal NASA panel was set up to review astronaut health after astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested and charged with trying to kidnap a woman who was dating another astronaut.

    The panel found that drunk astronauts were allowed to fly on "at least two occasions", the magazine reported, without saying on which missions the incidents took place.

    It did not specifically discuss Nowak.

    NASA is also reviewing its intake and on-going psychological screening for astronaut candidates and astronauts.