Sunday, September 09, 2007

This week's column:
NASA just needs a little space

OK, I’ll say it: NASA needs some better P.R. Between the astronauts wearing diapers and plotting murders and the ones getting toasted on flight days (“Drink up, dude, I’m taking this thing to the frickin’ moon!”), it seems we’ve forgotten what NASA is all about: spending billions of taxpayer dollars to take blurry pictures of, I don’t know, nebulas.

Just to recap, the alleged diaper-wearing, murder-planning astronaut, Lisa Nowak, has pleaded temporary insanity, saying that she has a variety of diagnosed mental illnesses that NASA somehow managed to overlook. In its defense, though, NASA did a fine job of making sure she was qualified for the 8-by-10 color shuttle crew glossy. (Say what you want about Nowak’s homicidal tendencies — you have to admit she looks smashing in orange.)

But in reviewing the Nowak matter, one investigator turned up reports of astronauts flying into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket while intoxicated. (Damn those cosmonauts and their well-stocked liquor cabinets!) NASA has since launched an internal investigation and declared the report to be an “urban legend,” which would also explain the astronaut who allegedly exploded after eating Pop Rocks and Coke.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

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