NASA isn't exactly having a good few months. Following the love triangle/murder attempt/diaper driving astronaut scandal that captured the nation's attention, two reports have just come out that have people scratching their heads over what is going on at the agency formally known for taking people only with "the right stuff." First there was the report that astronauts have been drinking alcohol before flying
and possibly even being drunk during launch. There's not really much of a technology angle to that, but that news was quickly followed up by a story of sabotage on a space station computer
. The details aren't entirely clear, but someone at a subcontractor deliberately cut internal wires in a computer that was supposed to be sent up to the space station on the space shuttles' next mission. Apparently it wouldn't have been life-threatening -- but it would have been a nuisance. It must not be very fun to be in PR at NASA these days, but it really does make you wonder what's going on there. It didn't take the agency very long to go from a position of respect to a series of punchlines on late night talk shows.