Elon Musk taking a puff of a joint during Joe Rogan’s podcast earlier this year is the gift that keeps on giving, and by giving we mean, giving Musk a hard time.
A report from The Washington Post alleges that Musk’s smoking of a drug (which is legal in the state he smoked it we might add) and sipping whiskey has prompted NASA to conduct a safety review at SpaceX and Boeing. This is according to “three officials with knowledge of the probe” so take the above with a pinch of salt.
“If I see something that’s inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that,” NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine told WaPo.
“As an agency we’re not just leading ourselves, but our contractors, as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe,” he added.
The reason Boeing has been roped into this is that both SpaceX and Boeing are contracted by NASA to fly astronauts.
The review will focus on the safety culture at the aforementioned companies. NASA will review drug policies, management styles, work hours and whether safety concerns are taken seriously.
NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance will lead the review and associate administrator for human exploration, William Gerstenmaier, says it will be invasive. The associate told Washington Post that hundreds of interviews would be conducted with employees at every level of the company.
Whether or not this review of Boeing and SpaceX was indeed prompted by Musk’s dalliance with marijuana remains to be seen but from where we’re sitting NASA is simply trying to insure the safety of its astronauts.
Earlier this year a Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned due to a sensor that was damaged during assembly. The crew was able to escape safely but the incident has surely prompted NASA to review its contractors ahead of a flying crewed missions to space from the US.