Not only is the training incredibly intense, but the shuttle has more safety issues than a Chinese pet food ingredients. In fact, if the FDA was in charge of the shuttle program, they’d have demanded a recall long ago.
So, the revelation that two astronauts were sky high on alcohol at lift-off time was no shock. According to reports I’ve read, the average NASA astronaut is supposed to wait a full 12 hours between ‘bottle to throttle.’ But, the anticipation of strapping oneself into a shuttle seat has to quicken the pulse a tad.
Don’t get me wrong. I have tremendous admiration for the skill and courage of the men and women who put their lives on the line to fly shuttle missions. But, there’s still something inherently wrong with the product. In fact, if I were a shuttle astronaut, I’d be augmenting the alcohol with Xanax, Valium and anything else handy.
Borrowing the title of Ralph Nader’s seminal book about the Chevy Corvair, I’d have to label ‘driving’ for NASA right now as being ‘Unsafe at any speed.’
Thanks to Brendan Mullin for the idea.