NASA has ordered a safety review of two of its contracted companies, SpaceX and Boeing, after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoked weed live on the internet, The Washington Post reports.
The probe will begin next year, and examine “everything and anything that could impact safety.” Three NASA officials told the Post that it was prompted by Elon Musk smoking weed and drinking whisky on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in September.
Musk’s behavior reportedly concerned senior staff at NASA, who then felt it necessary to scrutinise the corporate culture at its contracted companies.
A NASA spokesman declined to comment on why it decided to launch the review, when approached by The Post, but said it will “ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”
“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… 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,” he said.
Bridenstine said he has confidence in the SpaceX team, but added: “Culture and leadership start at the top. Anything that would result in some questioning the culture of safety, we need to fix immediately.”
In a statement, SpaceX told Business Insider: “Human spaceflight is the core mission of our company. There is nothing more important to SpaceX than this endeavor, and we take seriously the responsibility that NASA has entrusted in us to safely and reliably carry American astronauts to and from the International Space Station.”
“SpaceX actively promotes workplace safety and we are confident that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements,” it added.
Boeing also issued a statement to Business Insider: “The culture at Boeing ensures the integrity, safety and quality of our products, our people and their work environment. As NASA’s trusted partner since the beginning of human spaceflight, we share the same values and are committed to continuing our legacy of trust, openness and mission success.”