NASA is ordering a safety review of SpaceX and Boeing, prompted by Elon Musk’s recent behaviour.
A number of sources familiar with the investigation spoke to The Washington Post, stating that the review was undertaken due to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoking marijuana and drinking whiskey on the Joe Rogan podcast.
This behaviour reportedly drew the attention of high-level NASA officials, prompting them to investigate the safety environments of both its private space contractors.
The investigation will reportedly focus on the companies’ safety structures, including their drug policies and leadership styles.
While officials declined to comment on the exact reasons for the investigation, a NASA spokesperson said the probe would “ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment”.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine added in an interview that top executives need to portray a model for culture and leadership.
“Anything that would result in some questioning the culture of safety, we need to fix immediately,” he said.
“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,” Bridenstine said.
“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.”
Both Boeing and SpaceX are contracted by NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, with the former issuing a statement in response to the probe assuring the public of its sound corporate culture.