NASA is ordering a safety review of SpaceX and Boeing, prompted by Elon Musk's recent behaviour. "We have to show the American public that when we send astronauts into space, they're safe", - said in turn the Director of NASA Jim Breidenstein.
The sources claim NASA will be evaluating the "culture" at these two companies, indicating that the officials may believe similar activities take place among the workers.
In a statement given to the Post, SpaceX said, "We couldn't be more proud of all that we have already accomplished together with NASA, and we look forward to returning human spaceflight capabilities to the United States". It said that it "actively promotes workplace safety, and we are confident that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements". It would be the first time astronauts were launched from a spacecraft on American soil since the end of the space shuttle program.
SpaceX told the Post in a statement that it takes the responsibility of safety seriously.
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NASA selected SpaceX and Boeing to build new crew space transportation systems as public-private partnerships in 2014.
A NASA spokesperson declined to say what specifically prompted the reviews. Both statements seem like a not-so-thinly veiled shot at Musk, even though the review will extend to Boeing. It will also be the first flight of the Commercial Crew Program, NASA's insane idea of asking for help from the private sector, an idea that has reignited mankind's dreams of heading for the stars. The first such flights are scheduled for 2019.
ASAP members also pushed back against claims that the problems were merely "paperwork" issues delaying the test flights.
According to the NASA official, the process could be "pretty invasive" with the potential for hundreds of interviews with employees at every level and across all locations where the companies operate. Just two weeks ago, NASA's Launch Services Program awarded SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket its top rating, Category 3, which allows it to be used for launching NASA's most expensive robotic satellites.
Both SpaceX and Boeing plan to launch their first unmanned flights of spacecraft that will eventually carry people to the ISS early in 2019, followed by the first crewed flights later in the year.