Thu, Aug 30, 2007
Initial Report Didn't Name Accusers, Names, Dates...
Don't believe the rumors. The
National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Wednesday it
found no supporting evidence on reports of astronauts flying into
space while inebriated. NASA safety chief Bryan O'Connor said he
"was unable to verify any case in which an astronaut or spaceflight
crew member was impaired on launch day."
As ANN reported, NASA
Administrator Michael Griffin called for investigations by the NASA
Astronaut Health Care System Review Committee into the physical and
emotional states of the agency's astronauts, following the February
arrest of then-astronaut Lisa Nowak.
The report noted two occasions where astronauts were permitted
to fly into space, despite evidence of "heavy use of alcohol by
astronauts in the immediate preflight period."
"Alcohol is freely used in crew quarters." the report continues.
"Two specific instances were described where astronauts had been so
intoxicated prior to flight that flight surgeons and/or fellow
astronauts raised concerns to local on-scene leadership regarding
flight safety. However, the individuals were still permitted to
The report cited anonymous interviews with flight surgeons as
well as astronauts. The alleged offenders, dates or missions
weren't named, either, according to Bloomberg.
"Should such a situation present itself in the future, I am
confident that there are reasonable safeguards in place to prevent
an impaired crewmember from boarding a spacecraft," O'Connor said
in Wednesday's report.
O'Conner said he interviewed some 90 people that had been
associated with shuttle missions in some form or fashion for the
past 20 years.
Several staff flight surgeons denied ever seeing anyone impaired
by alcohol prior to a shuttle or Russian Soyuz flight... or even
before training on a T-38.
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