Final 12 months, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk went on YouTube host Joe Rogan’s present and smoked some weed. That was unlucky, as a result of SpaceX occurs to be a U.S. army contractor with safety clearances, and the U.S. authorities doesn’t like marijuana—and on this occasion, it disliked it a lot it spent $5 million to exhibit its displeasure.
The U.S. Air Pressure initially appeared prefer it didn’t know what the hell to do in regards to the incident. However it later emerged that prime officers at NASA together with administrator Jim Bridenstine have been significantly peeved about Musk’s resolution to mild up on air. NASA then determined it might require SpaceX, in addition to competitor Boeing, to undergo an intensive security audit and cultural evaluate that it described as guaranteeing “the businesses are assembly NASA’s necessities for office security, together with the adherence to a drug-free surroundings.” Based on a report by Politico on Wednesday, SpaceX’s evaluate ran up a $5 million tab that can go on the taxpayers’ dime.
Based on Politico, one trade supply stated that NASA had by no means ordered such an intensive security and tradition evaluate earlier than, to the purpose the place each SpaceX and Boeing have been confused as to what precisely it was. Along with interviewing staff in any respect ranges of SpaceX, the evaluate entailed having the corporate do some Reefer Insanity shit like “educating its staff and guaranteeing they’re following strict tips for federal contractors barring unlawful drug use.” Whereas SpaceX initially footed the $5 million invoice, NASA agreed to reimburse it in an association that Politico equally described as extremely uncommon and certain unprecedented.
Regardless of NASA telling Politico that the compensation to SpaceX was “commonplace follow,” Boeing has not been reimbursed. That raises the query of why the corporate whose CEO began this mess received repaid as a substitute. However Boeing might need determined that it wasn’t sensible to open its mouth in regards to the matter, because it’s obtained $four.eight billion from NASA as a part of the long-delayed Industrial Crew Program, considerably greater than SpaceX’s $three.1 billion.
Each corporations have been anticipated to ship their replacements for the retired area shuttle by 2017, which has been a supply of frustration to NASA and raised the prospect the company must buy extra seats to the Worldwide Area Station on Roscosmos rockets. NASA publicly sparred with SpaceX over the delays earlier than burying the hatchet, so maybe Boeing concluded comparatively measly $5 million wasn’t price risking their very own spat over.
“The concept of NASA ever giving SpaceX preferential remedy over Boeing is solely giggle-inducing to trade insiders,” College of South California assistant professor and former Trump NASA transition staff member Greg Autry advised Politico. “At each step of the best way Boeing received extra [money] within the [Commercial Crew development] program. Far, way over $5 million. Even discussing $5 million on this context is foolish.”
In any case, whereas Musk could have triggered this mess, it’s finally the federal government that determined it was gonna drop 5 fats stacks over it. Bridenstine lately tried to downplay the entire thing, telling CNBC lately that he doesn’t suppose “there’s a lot a narrative there.”
“Fairly frankly, I feel each corporations are working actually responsibly, and ensuring that their cultures are secure,” Bridenstine added. “And so, as we get near launching astronauts on rockets once more, it’s not simply NASA that must be secure, it’s our industrial companions that should be secure.”
Anyhow, Musk can in all probability pile “smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s present” onto his rising reminiscence stack of issues he did on-line that he now regrets. A minimum of this time it didn’t value him any cash.