Nasa has confirmed that it will be investigating health and safety practices at SpaceX after Elon Musk's infamous 'marijuana moment.'
Cast your mind back to September when Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast and had a drag on a joint that the host was smoking and also drank some whiskey.
This small toke cost Musk a lot of money and now Nasa is launching an investigation into the safety habits at SpaceX, a company that they invested a lot of trust and goodwill into.
Nasa wants SpaceX to be carry their astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station so it's understandably that they might have some concerns.
A report published by The Washington Post states that Nasa will be making sure that SpaceX are adhering to the requirements that Nasa expect of their partners.
Jim Bridenstine, who is an administrator for Nasa, told The Post:
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.
As an agency we’re not just leading ourselves, but our contractors as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe.
Although he didn't directly reference Musk or drugs he did add that a company's "culture and leadership start at the the top" which could be a thinly veiled criticism of the South African entrepreneur, whose behaviour has been unusual for the majority of the year.
Another Nasa spokesperson told The Verge:
Nasa will be conducting a cultural assessment study in coordination with our commercial partners to ensure the companies are meeting Nasa’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.
We fully expect our commercial partners to meet all workplace safety requirements in the execution of our missions and the services they provide the American people. As always, Nasa will ensure they do so.
In response SpaceX put out their own statement where there vowed to take their relationship with Nasa seriously.
Human space-flight is the core mission of our company.
There is nothing more important to SpaceX than this endeavour, 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.
SpaceX actively promotes workplace safety and we are confident that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements.
Boeing, who are a partner company of Nasa, echoed the space agency's words.
The culture at Boeing ensures the integrity, safety and quality of our products, our people and their work environment.
As Nasa’s trusted partner since the beginning of human space-flight, we share the same values and are committed to continuing our legacy of trust, openness and mission success.
It is unclear whether these investigations will hamper the launch of SpaceX's new Crew Dragon vehicle, which was due to have it's first unmanned test flight in January 2019 and if successful will go ahead a crewed flight in June.
SpaceX also provide spacecraft to the US military and although marijuana is legal in 10 states, including California it is still forbidden federally and as both the military and Nasa are bodies of the US government, Musk's illicit activities could land him in trouble.
HT The Verge