Space agency NASA is planning to conduct an intensive safety review of SpaceX and Boeing, the two private companies that are contracted to transport agency astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
According to reports, this review was spurred mainly by Elon Musk’s behavior on Joe Rogan’s podcast in September this year. In a video of the podcast, Musk was seen sipping whiskey and smoking pot during his 2.5-hour appearance at the live webcast.
The review is expected to begin next year and will likely take months to complete. Even though the use of marijuana is legal in California, where the podcast was recorded.
However, Musk’s actions irked NASA executives, some of whom came from military backgrounds and others who dislike Musk’s critiques of the traditional space program. It prompted the agency to take a closer look at the culture and workplace safety of the companies.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told The Washington 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.”
He says that it’s important to show the American public that when NASA puts an astronaut on a rocket, they would be safe. Bridenstine further added, “culture and leadership start at the top. Anything that would result in some questioning the culture of safety, we need to fix immediately.”