Elon Musk Smoking Weed Sparks NASA Review Into SpaceX

NASA orders safety review of SpaceX and Boeing reportedly due to Elon Musk marijuana video

NASA starts SpaceX safety probe after Musk concerns

US space agency NASA said on Tuesday it would review the workplace safety culture at SpaceX and Boeing Co, as the two companies gear up to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

Yet the space agency is undertaking a workplace safety review of Elon Musk's firm SpaceX - reportedly in response to the capricious entrepreneur's decision last summer to smoke pot and drink whiskey on a podcast that was streamed on the Internet and captured in a YouTube video. NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance will lead the probe, which the space agency's associate administrator William Gerstenmaier has said will be "pretty invasive". "There is nothing more important to SpaceX than this endeavor, and we take seriously the responsibility that NASA has entrusted in us to safely and reliably carry American astronauts to and from the International Space Station".

In a November 21 statement, NASA said the Falcon 9 launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission designated Demo-1 is scheduled for January 7 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, the former Apollo and shuttle pad that SpaceX has renovated to support launches of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles, in particular crewed Falcon 9 missions.

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"We look at it in terms of, 'Could I work extra shifts or put extra people on it?'" said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager for commercial programs at Boeing's space exploration unit, about accelerating development of its vehicle at ISPCS. For years, our engineers have worked side-by-side with NASA, creating a strong partnership and guiding the development of Crew Dragon - one of the safest, most-advanced human spaceflight systems ever built.

SpaceX added that it "actively promotes workplace safety, and we are confident that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements". It added: "As NASA's trusted partner since the beginning of human spaceflight, we share the same values and are committed to continuing our legacy of trust, openness and mission success".

Jim Bridenstine, NASA's Administrator, told the news outlet that the goal is to make sure the public has trust in the agency's spaceflight program, especially in light of them getting closer to the return of crewed flights from USA soil. "If they see something, they'll take action".

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SpaceX and Boeing are the two main contractors selected under NASA's commercial crew program to send astronauts to space as soon as 2019, using their Dragon and Starliner spacecraft respectively. Since then, the companies have faced setbacks and delays as they work to develop their spacecraft.

Boeing said it was aware of and welcomed NASA's workplace assessment but had not yet received official notification.

The crew flight tests will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in 2019.

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