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NASA acknowledges reports of intoxicated astronauts
Posted: Sat, Jul 28, 2007, 10:49 AM ET (1449 GMT)
NASA officials on Friday released a report that claimed that on at least two occasions astronauts were intoxicated immediately prior to missions, as the agency said it was taking steps to investigate and remedy the situation. The revelations were contained in a report reviewing astronaut health care issues that the agency released on Friday. A single paragraph in that report mentioned the alcohol usage issues, but provided few details. During repeated questioning at a NASA press conference Friday afternoon, the head of the review committee said that one incident involved an astronaut on a Soyuz flight while the other involved an astronaut who was a shuttle mission that was scrubbed; that person then attempted to fly a T-38 aircraft home immediately after the scrub. NASA said that its chief of safety and mission assurance, Bryan O'Connor, had started an "extensive" review of those claims. NASA also plans to develop a formal "code of conduct" for astronauts, and has made explicit the prohibition on alcohol consumption 12 hours before a flight.
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