Report Says NASA Let Astronauts Fly Drunk

July 27, 2007

Some astronauts may be flying before they leave the ground.

A NASA report released Friday reveals NASA astronauts have flown while intoxicated on at least two occasions, even after doctors warned they posed a flight risk.

"The administrator and I have directed NASA's chief of safety to undertake an internal safety review, he will gather information, conduct necessary analysis and determine the facts of the reported alcohol related incidents" said Shana Dale, NASA Deputy Administrator.

Aviation Week and Space Technology first reported details from the internal NASA investigation, which was ordered after astronaut Lisa Nowak 's arrest for attempting to kidnap a romantic rival.

The admission that some astronauts were flying drunk raises new questions about how the space agency is run.

"The thought of an astronaut getting onboard in any kind of inebriated condition is a very serious thing indeed" said CBS News Space Consultant Bill Harwood.

And another embarrassing revelation, NASA says an employee for a subcontractor sabotaged a computer that was set to be delivered to the International Space Station next month. The damage posed no safety risk.

NASA is scrambling to fix the computer in time to put it on the Shuttle Endeavor when it launches in eleven days but it could take much longer to repair its own image.


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