The astronauts were drunk

Space shuttle in the fogAccoridng to a recent report from NASA (or more precisely according to a single paragraph of that report), alcohol is circulating freely among the astronauts and most specifically during pre-flight. To the point that some worried that the state of the crew may endanger the mission itself. But local management did not seem as worried as others and no flight was cancelled or delayed for such reasons. We do not even know which flights were subjected to this infamous situation or what individuals were involved…

The Register even worries about the impossibility to chek these very incomplete facts. I would tend to follow their opinion. Nobody knows what kind of alcoholic state was observed and who did it or let it happen. It looks a lot more like a unlucky scoop than usable information.

Nevertheless, this won’t help the American space agency regain favor in the eyes of the general public. We will certainly never see the steely courage of astronauts with the same admiration if we believe that it draws more from booze than personal strength. Will we see the apparent hesitation at ignition of some rocket motors as the imprecision of the drunk mass trying to hit the ‘Go’ button? We certainly need to have a more positive hero image and we may find it in the new pioneers of Virgin Galactic and Space Shit One teams in their proud attempts to create a commercial and touristic space market (incidently they have been hit hard by a recent accident that killed three people a few days ago).