It’s all about the special rules for contractors that the agency requires to comply.
NASA head Jim Brydenstein (Jim Bridenstine) condemned Musk’s behavior on the podcast at Joe Rogan, where SpaceX CEO smoked marijuana and drank whiskey. According to the head of the agency, this is inappropriate behavior for a man whose company is going to launch American astronauts into space. Brydenstein said this at a NASA press conference in Washington, the words of The Atlantic.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I can tell you that this does not inspire confidence and the leaders of these companies need to take this as an example of what cannot be done if you head an organization that intends to launch American astronauts into space.[/perfectpullquote]
According to Brydenstein, he spoke with Musk several times after he came to Joe Rogan. The head of NASA noted that the entrepreneur treats security just like everyone else, and promised to not behave this way anymore.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]He understands that this was unacceptable behavior, and you will not see him again.[/perfectpullquote]
Brydenstein spoke on Musk a week after the Washington Post announced that NASA will evaluate SpaceX’s corporate culture. The agency did not disclose the reason for the inspection, but said that it wanted to make sure that the work in the company was safe, including compliance with the rules on refusing drugs.
The head of NASA said that the decision to check was made even before Musk publicly smoked marijuana, and was affected by tragic incidents in the history of the agency. Brydenstein noted that he had read detailed reports on these incidents and came to the conclusion that, in addition to technical reasons, the culture in the contracting companies also led to the disaster.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We do not believe that an incident will occur, but if it does, instead of waiting for this to happen, we better check the work culture of our contractors right now. We want to get ahead of his [incident]. We want to see right now, today, whether they are under pressure because of the schedule or because of money, and are these problems a challenge to their thought processes so that it becomes dangerous?[/perfectpullquote]
As noted by The Atlantic, a contract with NASA requires contractors to comply with a program to create a working culture without drugs and alcohol. In addition, it is necessary to periodically check employees in “sensitive” positions for violations of federal laws on the use of alcohol or drugs.
Journalists of the publication also believe that the agency is worried about their own image. And when the head of one of the contractors smokes marijuana to a multimillion audience just a month before the launch, on which the lives of Americans depend, for NASA this is not a very good image.