It has come out into public knowledge that some astronauts have violated the 12 hour "bottle to throttle" rule to the point of sobering up in space. Im sure there have been many bar jokes involved about the metabolism of alcohol in zero gravity.
At one level, the system is broken because no matter what the rule might be space launches are such high profile events that scrubbing a mission over alcohol consumption would be a PR nightmare. Also, this is high level science and engineering, and one would seemingly want to be at 100% in order to perform at top level.
On the other hand, there is a point where a little bit of bravado is a useful thing. Using the idea of "high level science and engineering" again, one needs to keep the mindset of not being intimidated of the craft and the situation. Ive been handed a drink on my way to board a C130 to a warzone, and I understand both the tradition and the practical element.
I dont know the full set of facts, NASA obviously is running a troubled ship after the last astronaut debacle, but Im not so quick to be scandalized by this as some others. Im quite curious how Chesterton would have viewed all of this......."Why is this gentleman going exploring, when he so obviously already found what he was looking for?" Perhaps?
Have a great weekend.
The Ethics of Elfland
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