NASA Orders Safety Review of SpaceX and Boeing Following Musk's Pot Video

By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter

November 21, 2018

In space, no one can hear you toke up. But, they can see it if you're busy live-streaming your appearance on a podcast for the whole world. 

SpaceX founder Elon Musk's puff on a joint two months ago during an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast is the reason for NASA's recent safety review of SpaceX and Boeing's company culture, the Washington Post reports, citing officials familiar with the matter. 

The review, described as a "cultural assessment study," will be conducted at both Boeing and SpaceX, two companies that have been contracted by the space agency to build capsules that will take NASA's astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA's associated administrator for human exploration, William Gerstenmaier told the newspaper that NASA will examine "everything and anything that could impact safety."

“Is the culture reflective of an environment that builds quality spacecraft?” Gerstenmaier told the Washington Post. 

Earlier this year, Musk appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast where he appeared to take a hit of marijuana and sipped whiskey with the comedian on a live stream. Musk's behavior reportedly irritated some officials at NASA's highest levels, who ordered the agency to take a closer look at the culture of the two companies partnering with NASA. 

The review is going to be "pretty invasive" according to Gerstenmaier, and likely involve hundreds of interviews with employees at both companies. 

Both companies are still months away from initial test flights of their crew modules. SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 will both be used to replace trips on Russia's rockets, which U.S. astronauts currently have to hitch a ride on after the space shuttle was retired in 2011. 

"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," NASA said in a statement. "As always, NASA will ensure they do so."

Photo: Getty Images

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