by dood abides
Sat Jul 28th, 2007 at 09:29:37 AM EST
Space station astronauts on a recent EVA removing what was originally described as an ammonia tank from the space station
Houston, TX (APE) - NASA authorities are today admitting that the ongoing investigation into alcohol consumption by astronauts is now to include current and former occupants of the international space Station. NASA officials have stated that they wish to question the current occupants of the space station specifically over the recent EVA in which an "ammonia tank" was removed and controversially jettisoned into space as junk.
Close-up of an official NASA photo from a recent EVA
Upon closer scrutiny of official NASA photos, experts are now saying that in actuality the equipment that was jettisoned into space amounted to a specially designed 55 L keg. Officials are rumored to also be interested in discussing with astronauts the contents of an EVA suit presumably containing "space junk" which was jettisoned some years ago.
"Admittedly this is a high stress job with a severe degree of loneliness and isolation," stated a NASA official, "but we have made more mission appropriate accommodations such as stationary bikes and other exercise equipment to relieve stress. There is simply no excuse for the risk that this type of behavior engenders."
A Tanzanian man displays what appears to be a fused wine bottle which he claims landed in his flower bed
After consultation with legal experts, NASA officials are also expressing some fears over possible liability in regards to unauthorized jettisoning on the part of space station crews. This comes at a time when there has been an increase in claims worldwide of sightings and damage from items that appear to have reentered the atmosphere and come to earth as "meteors". Previously, NASA has maintained that occasional re-entries were mathematically insignificant in that they were done in a highly calculated and controlled manner. Legal experts now maintain that alcohol consumption may open the door to successful litigation and recovery of damages in such instances.
Veteran US Astronaut Roy Fleming
US astronaut Roy Fleming, a veteran of the Gemini, Apollo, and the space shuttle programs has reluctantly come forward in support of his fellow astronauts. He maintains that alcohol consumption is nothing new throughout the history of spaceflight and that sometimes a little "liquid courage" is warranted.
"If you think about it," said Fleming, "historically these guys, and now gals, have always been sitting atop what amounts to a huge time bomb if things don't go right. Who in their right mind would deny somebody a drink in that situation? It's not like they are actually piloting the spacecraft anymore, it's all done with multiple redundancies from the ground."
"It is a lonely job," continued Fleming, "and believe it or not, there tends to be a lot of boredom. It's a real rush to drop your dead soldiers from the ultimate highway overpass... I've done it, and just about everyone in the program would probably admit to having dropped something."
"Things have changed an awful lot in the last few years under the current Bush administration," stated Fleming. "Just about all of us are scientists but we have been pretty well muzzled when it comes to discussing important things such as the space program and global warming. I suppose one could argue that this may have led to an increased rate of alcohol consumption as well."
NASA officials stated that their investigation would continue and announced that they would be shortly unveiling a 12 step program to address the problem.
"We are looking to be totally honest and forthright about the situation," stated NASA chief Mike Griffin."The first step is to recognize that you have a problem."