back to article Pulses quicken at NASA as SpaceX gets closer to crewed launches and Russia readies the next Soyuz

While NASA celebrated another successful landing on Mars, the agency spent the past seven days dealing with some issues considerably closer to home in the latest round-up of all things space. NASA: We won't have what he's smoking The week kicked off with The Washington Post giving Elon Musk that most rarest of gifts: publicity …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    The trio will have a relatively civilised ride to the ISS following launch on 3 December, taking only six hours to reach the orbiting platform where they will kick off a six-and-a-half-month mission.

    You forgot to cross fingers (if you are an Anglo-Saxon), spit across shoulder (if you are Russian), knock on wood or your head if wood is not available if you are Southern Slavic and so on...

    Good luck and Godspeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And most importantly, never forget to piss on the back right tyre of the bus taking you to the launch site.

    2. Alistair Silver badge


      You forgot about peeing on the bus tire.

  2. MiguelC Silver badge

    Drug-free work environment

    Are NASA as tight-arsed about alcohol and tobacco use for their own workers? Oh, you mean 'other' drugs...

    (I do suppose there are no drug dispensaries at Space-X but I could be wrong)

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Elon & Drugs

    If Elon (or anyone else at Space-X) were filmed sitting in the control room at Space-X drinking Whiskey and smoking pot, I could understand NASA taking a look at the culture at SpaceX. But as Elon was off-the-clock, doing something legal, what's the problem?

    After all, it's not like anyone at NASA would ever take a drugs in the control rooms, it is?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Elon & Drugs

      Remember: America likes to be seen as saints in public, but perverts in private. Do as NASA say, not as they do.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Elon & Drugs

      "But as Elon was off-the-clock, doing something legal, what's the problem?"

      1) It wasn't legal, weed is illegal in the entire US.

      2) It was a violation of his security clearance.

      3) Violating the terms of your security clearance and breaking the law in such a blatant and public manner demonstrates bad judgement.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Elon & Drugs

        Spazturtle: 1) It wasn't legal, weed is illegal in the entire US.

        BBC: Mr Rogan offered his guest the drug, which is legal in California, as the pair discussed tech innovation and the public's perception of Mr Musk.

        Bizarrely I'm going to side with the BBC on this one...

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: Elon & Drugs

          "Mr Rogan offered his guest the drug, which is legal in California,"

          No it isn't, weed is still federally illegal meaning it is illegal in the entire US including California. Just because there is no state level law against it doesn't make it legal.

          Weed is classed as Schedule 1 under the Controlled Substances Act

          1. Alistair Silver badge

            Re: Elon & Drugs


            So Colorado's entire government are going to jail are they?

            Controlled Substances Act contains a HELL of a lot more than Mary Jay Wanna. And not everything on it is "illegal". They are 'controlled'. There is a subtle difference that tone deaf echo chamber residents have a problem hearing.

            1. Jwdb

              Re: Elon & Drugs


              Only if they smoke weed and the DEA decides to make an example of them.

              It's not illegal to make laws saying weed's legal, but since it's a schedule I controlled substance it's still a federal crime to distribute/have/use/etc it (thus the shorthand "illegal"). That's why no weed business in the US is on the stock exchange or has a bank account, and why weed businesses are so happy that Sessions, who had it in for them, is gone.

              Either way, here's to hoping Musk was smart enough to keep the workplace clean. I would *really* hate to see SpaceX go up in smoke over something this trivial.

          2. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Elon & Drugs


            Looks like there is some conflict, but that it is falling on the side of the states being allowed to make their own laws. I'm still running with BBC on this one - since there is quite an extensive body of legislation that explicitly declares it legal.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Elon & Drugs

          Maybe a little reading up on States Rights, would clear that up for you.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Elon & Drugs

        1) It wasn't legal, weed is illegal in the entire US.

        No it's not. Many states have made it legal. The Feds still have it illegal but they won't prosecute anyone in the "legal" states.. States Rights and all that.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Elon & Drugs

          They CAN prosecute in the "legal" states since it is still a federal crime, they just have chosen to ignore it. There was a lot of worry that it might be enforced under Trump, since republicans are more anti-drug than democrats, and Trump is known to be against drugs and alcohol since his older brother Fred was a chronic alcoholic who died in his early 40s.

          Republicans only believe in states rights when it is republican states making laws different than the federal government (like abortion) but not when it is democrat states making laws different than the federal government. However, the DOJ seems far more concerned with going after immigrants right now than pot smokers in California, but if Pence becomes president look out - he's always been very anti-drug and doesn't care nearly as much about immigration as Trump so he would probably change the DOJ's focus.

          If a state decriminalizes other drugs then they'd probably enforce it regardless of who is in power and it would wind up in the Supreme Court.

        2. JCitizen

          Re: Elon & Drugs

          I seem to remember reading Federal statutes a long time ago, where by as long as "a tax stamp" is affixed to such "controlled substances" then you are okay. In fact every time a sentence was handed down from a court to a violator, the end of the sentence always mentioned "without a tax (proof of which)"

          Even machine guns are legal with a tax stamp ( proof of payment). Now getting that tax stamp is very difficult of course, and without a state where it is legal, almost impossible to acquire.

  4. steelpillow Silver badge

    Drugs assurance

    To be fair to NASA, the issue is more about risk management and assurance than a lone TV incident. What controls does SpaceX have in place to minimise the risk of doped-out or coked-up staff making dangerous manufacturing slips? Company policy, an inspection and enforcement regime, and corporate culture all play into that mix.

    Fair enough. But they should also be asking about the risk of exhausted and sleep-deprived workaholics making similar blunders.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Drugs assurance

      "What controls does SpaceX have in place to minimise the risk of doped-out or coked-up staff making dangerous manufacturing slips?"

      And why do they need one specifically against drugs...? How about tired staff? Or improperly trained staff...? Or disgruntled staff...? And if they don't, why do "drugs" feature in the headlines announcing this investigation...?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Drugs assurance

        Because NASA requires its contractors have an anti-drug policy, and if SpaceX has one it is obviously not being enforced on its CEO. IMHO the policy is outdated, but so long as it exists they are required to enforce it.

  5. Vulch

    NASA may have been pushed into the inspections according to a tweet from Eric Berger last week.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Well...I'm just shocked by that. Shocked I tell you.

  6. DCFusor Silver badge

    Keeping your people from revolting

    NASA is full of hardcore puritans (or used to be when I dealt with them) and old cold warrior neocons. My guess is that this noise is as much about keeping their own people happy that no one else is having fun when they can't.

    As is evidenced by the moon race - at least one of NASAs prime goals is to produce propaganda fodder.

    Once we "won"... well, the space race kind of ended. I was one of those kids who watched Apollo 11, and thought, man, someday I'll get to go. > 65 yo now...speak of dropped balls. As soon as the need for PR was gone...funding cut and we all know the rest.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Keeping your people from revolting

      Well there isn't a whole lot of point in going back to the Moon over and over again. At least on Mars there are some mysteries to solve - though I think people living at least within the lifetime of anyone currently alive is folly.

      There's little point in setting up a Moon base when you can do most of the same stuff (much of it better) in a space station and there already is one of those. Much better IMHO to invest in a bigger and better space station than going back to the Moon or trying to live there.

      1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        Re: Keeping your people from revolting

        Ref: "There's little point in setting up a Moon base..."

        Helium-3 is a very good reason

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Keeping your people from revolting

      >NASA is full of hardcore puritans

      When they went to the moon they were mostly full of hardcore socialists - of the "national" variety

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Keeping your people from revolting

        Yes but puritans and Nazis really aren't all that different. They believed in exercising extreme control over what people say, do, and think in their daily lives. The main way to tell them apart is whether they give allegiance to god or the fatherland.

        Anyway, Nazis aren't "socialists" any more than North Korea is a "democratic people's republic".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heres hoping

    that Elon gets into space and smoke a joint live on national TV.


    1. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Heres hoping

      They're not keen on flammable stuff inside space capsules. Might just have to go with the brownies...

      1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

        Re: Heres hoping

        Brownies are what happened in the last crewed Soyuz.

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Washington post

    Owned by the rather lagging behind competitor in the commercial manned space business ?

  9. FlamingDeath Bronze badge


    "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA /ˈnæsə/) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government"

    That's hilarious

    I know this is not publically admitted, but NASA are basically a military organisation.

    If you're shocked by this revelation, then you've been living under a rock

    Space is strategic, shocker! IKR?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: NASA

      My my, only 2 down votes

      Maybe those two, and any others who wish to downvote facts, should read more of history

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