NASA is reportedly launching a safety review of Elon Musk’s SpaceX after the CEO smoked marijuana live on an online podcast.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the agency will investigate SpaceX and Boeing, the two private companies it has hired to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.
Three NASA officials with knowledge of the investigation told the Post that the proposed months-long probe was ordered after Musk’s behavior on the “Joe Rogan Experience.”
In an episode of the comedian’s podcast in September, the 47-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO smoked marijuana and drank whiskey.
A spokesman for NASA told the Post in a statement that the review will “ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment,” but declined to say what prompted the review.
NASA Administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineHow will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos wages lawfare on NASA and SpaceX The billionaires' space race is just the beginning MORE told the paper that he has confidence in the SpaceX team, adding that “culture and leadership start at the top.”
“If I see something that’s inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that,” he told the Post. “As an agency we’re not just leading ourselves, but our contractors, as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe.”
In a statement to the Post, SpaceX defended its safety and “comprehensive drug-free workforce.”
"Human spaceflight is the core mission of our company,” the company said. “There is nothing more important to SpaceX than this endeavor, and we take seriously the responsibility that NASA has entrusted in us to safely and reliably carry American astronauts to and from the International Space Station.”
Musk has been at the center of a number of controversies in recent months. In September, he reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to step down as Tesla’s board chairman after a tweet claiming that he planned to take the company private.
He is also facing a lawsuit from a British diver involved in the rescue of the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave after Musk called him a “pedo guy” in a tweet.