Friday, July 27, 2007

I thought it was 24 hours from bottle to throttle. Lift-off. Whatever.

Space exploration is a risky and stressful business, what with all the launch mishaps and equipment malfunctions and totally insane astro-women. But does that mean that the astronaut corps should cope by drinking? According to a recent NASA survey, the answer is a big "Roger that, Houston."

Astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk on at least two occasions, an aviation weekly reported Thursday.

It cited a special panel studying astronaut health, which found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch that was within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology. It reported the finding on its Web site.

A NASA official confirmed the health report contains claims of alcohol use by astronauts before launch, but said the information is based on anonymous interviews and is unsubstantiated. The official didn't want to be named because NASA plans a news conference Friday to discuss the panel's findings.
As a guy who loves rockets and rocket fuel, I’m not sure whether this means my desire to be an astronaut is shaken or reinforced. Or stirred.

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