What gives an astronaut the steely nerve and heroic confidence to ride on a burning canister of rocket-fuel beyond our earthly confines and into the great unknown? According to Aviation Week, the same thing that gives anyone else courage; booze. The publication claims NASA is set to release a study on astronaut health …
I guess it is the same everywhere
I have heard it on many occasions from sources that had access to the original enquiry that Gagarin smashed into the ground while shitfaced to the point where he did not know where the ground is and where the sky is. Interceptors breaking the sound barrier nearby had nothing to do with it. So I guess there is one more thing NASA and Star city have in common.
Maybe they should get a designated driver. Might prevent a bit of Imperial entanglement from Stormtroopers.
Mach 20? Was I going that fast officer?
Just As Long As They Get The Name Right
NASA may have found a main line into the public eye. How many NASA based sitcoms have been floated? There's been no way for the pedestrian mind to engage the NASA culture but a drunk, diaper wearing astronaut racing across America to kidnap another, romantic rival, astronaut punctuating a boozy, promiscuous culture says the movie can't be far behind. My stepdad was a navy pilot and I've never met or heard of a liquor abstaining pilot. Double Plus Good with the inception of commercial space flights people will be lining up to get down and dirty in space and the commercial space flight industry will be a mecca for disgraced and antiquated NASA staffers.
Re: 12 hours
I don't know what the rules are for space shuttles, but for regular pilots the rule is 8 hours - bottle to throttle, *and* < .04% BAC by weight.
Magic Carpet Ride
If my memory serves me correct; the first human FTL warp space flight was piloted by Zefram Cochrane, was was suffering a "4-alarm hangover" at the time. He was also playing Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" VERY LOUD at blast off.
Heck, if I win lotto next week, I'll buy a seat on one of Sir Richard's spacecraft, and when we fire the engine I would want to have a few tots of rum under my belt; and Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" playing very loudly.
As for accidents on the Shuttle, things go pear-shaped *way* too quickly for a human to react, drunk or not. The Shuttle launch is mostly automatic anyway - I suspect Nasa provides a few buttons to press to give the astronauts something to do; the Russians with Buran proved that something as complex as a Shuttle is actually very easy to fly completely automatically - which partly removes the need for a Shuttle anyway!
C'mon, who among us, when strapped into possibly the World's largest explosive device, about to be thrown into the air at a terrifying speed, with a company who's track reckord for keeping their staff alive isn't exactly blemishless, would rather do it sober? I'm just surprised the pre-flight checks don't go more like:
"King size Rizlas?"..."Check"
Re: 12 Hours
"I don't know what the rules are for space shuttles, but for regular pilots the rule is 8 hours - bottle to throttle, *and* < .04% BAC by weight."
For glider pilots it is a very simple 'you cannot be under any influence of alcohol if you have anything to do with the flying operation' - that's piloting, winch driving, anything. Nice and simple rule.
Since recourse to alcohol is apparently a standard male reaction to stress
I can only assume that NASA is too stingy to provide proper stress management counselling to their employees.
There are some side benefits of bringing some extra stuff with 'em. If Apollo 13 had a 4th or 5th (or 10th) seat for Lt. Jack Daniels or Lt. Johnny Walker, they would get enough juice to land on the moon...
If they missed it anyway, they could hit the moon the same way we do here on the way back.
Hell, they could 'misplace' entire shipments of it based on the other report about lost non-essential equipment that cost below $5000. And they could label it 'experimental fuel'.
If given the boot...
...they could always go and work for an airline like Virgin
Some people are afraid to board an airliner without getting drunk beforehand. Understandably, some men are getting nervous when they are about to be put inside a flying brick strapped to a huge barrel of explosives with 2 big fireworks attached then shot off into nowhere...
Glad some men and all women are brave enough to strap in sober.