NASA has launched an extensive investigation to determine how a small amount of cocaine ended up in a space shuttle hangar at the agency’s Florida spaceport. A bag containing a small amount of white powder residue that was later confirmed to be cocaine was discovered in the space shuttle Discovery’s hangar at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The cocaine was discovered Tuesday when a shuttle worker spotted it outside a bathroom and reported it to NASA security. An on-site test of the bag stated it was cocaine, and subsequent follow-up tests confirmed it was the drug, he said.
The consequences of such actions are severe, NASA officials added.”NASA, as well as all of our contractors, has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use,” Beutel said. “This is being taken very seriously.”
NASA’s security officials are actively investigating the cocaine find on two fronts. They are investigating the drug itself, as well as any clues as to how it ended up in the shuttle hangar.
This is not the first time agency personnel have come under fire over reports of substance abuse.
In 2007, the space agency launched a different investigation after receiving two anecdotal accounts suggesting that astronauts were drunk just before their spaceflights. The investigation ultimately found no evidence of any pre-flight drunkenness among its astronaut corps.
“People know how serious this is and how serious people take it,” Beutel said. “And it’s not acceptable. That’s the bottom line.”
She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
“Rocket Man” – Elton John