NASA launching safety review of SpaceX because Elon Musk smoked pot

21 Novembre, 2018, 05:35 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The recent behavior of SpaceX founder Elon Musk has rankled some at NASA’s highest levels and prompted the agency to take a close look at the culture of SpaceX and Boeing people familiar with the matter said

NASA has initiated a safety probe into both SpaceX and Boeing reportedly due to a video of Elon Musk smoking weed, according to a new report.

The review, which is expected to begin next year and take months to complete, was spurred largely by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk's behavior on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast in September, three unnamed officials told The Washington Post's Christian Davenport. NASA has not commented on the report, though, instead simply acknowledging that a safety review will take place in order to look at "everything and anything that could impact safety".

While NASA hasn't specifically said the review has to do with Musk's behavior, a spokesperson for the agency told the Washington Post the probe would "ensure the companies are meeting NASA's requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment".

"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", the Post quoted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as saying.

The assessment won't focus on technical details, but issues including drug policies, leadership and management style, and how many hours employees work. "As an agency we're not just leading ourselves, but our contractors as well". The review would be led by NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, which has conducted similar probes inside NASA.

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He added that the "companies are responsible".

The review comes as the companies are working toward flying crewed missions from USA soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired seven years ago.

Both SpaceX and Boeing plan to launch the first crewed flights of their astronaut taxis - known as Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner, respectively - next year.

Earlier this year, Boeing had a propellant leak during a test of its emergency abort system. Boeing has also been placed under review with NASA citing general safety concerns. SpaceX said it has made real progress in the development of the version of its Dragon spacecraft that is created to fly humans. "We couldn't be more proud of all that we have already accomplished together with NASA, and we look forward to returning human spaceflight capabilities to the United States for the first time since the space shuttle program retired in 2011".

SpaceX is planning to a launch its spacecraft without crew in January and plans to fly with astronauts on board by June 2019. The same could be said for Boeing's uncrewed demonstration flight, now planned for next March.

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