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Report: drunken astronauts flew on shuttle
Posted: Thu, Jul 26, 2007, 8:03 PM ET (0003 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) Astronauts so intoxicated that they were considered a flight safety risk flew on at least two shuttle missions, according to an independent report to be released tomorrow. Aviation Week reported on its web site Thursday that the astronauts flew despite concerns from flight surgeons and fellow astronauts that they were so intoxicated they threatened the safety of the mission. Investigators also found "heavy" use of alcohol by astronauts in the 12-hour window before launch when consumption is prohibited by flight rules. The finding comes from an independent investigation into astronaut medical and psychological screening promoted by the February arrest of former astronaut Lisa Nowak on attempted kidnapping charges. NASA has scheduled a press conference for Friday afternoon to release the results of the report.
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