Alcohol, the right stuff

In all fairness, if I was going to be sealed in a can and boosted into friggin' outer space at a velocity approaching 17,000 miles per hour, I'd want to down a couple of Jack and Cokes before liftoff myself. It still doesn't qualify as a best practice, though it seems to be more common than you'd expect among space shuttle astronauts.

An independent health panel studying NASA astronauts found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch, according to a published report Thursday.

Aviation Week & Space Technology, a weekly trade journal, reported the finding from the panel on its Web site. The weekly said that the committee found that on at least two occasions, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so intoxicated that they posed a flight-safety risk.

The alcohol use by astronauts was within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule applied to NASA flight crew members, Aviation Week reported.

Hard to say which is more awesome - the title of the CNN headline ("Report: Drunk astronauts allowed on shuttle") or the concept of a twelve-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule.


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