Astronaut's Letter to Editors: Charges of Flying Drunk are 'Ridiculous'

By: E&P Staff Reports in several news outlets last week suggested that American astronauts have flown into space after drinking alcohol or even drunk. Now this view is being challenged in unusual letters to editors.

This is "utterly ridiculous," Cmdr. Scott J. Kelly, commander of the space shuttle mission scheduled to lift off on Wednesday, writes in a letter sent to several newspapers.

NASA released the letter on Monday.

A panel looking into the physical and psychological health issues of astronauts heard anecdotes about astronauts? drinking before flights and even on occasion being considered drunk enough to be considered safety risks. NASA is investigating this.

Commander Kelly wrote, ?To imply that my crew or I would ever consider launching on our mission in anything but the best possible condition is utterly ridiculous....

?To see a minor part of the report exaggerated and misrepresented was extremely disappointing. We fully understand our responsibility to this country.?


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