NASA Refuses to Say What It Found About Drug Use at SpaceX (Image Credit: futurism-com)
Elon may have accidentally revealed some of the information, though.
NASA has gathered information about drug use at SpaceX — and apparently has no intention of sharing.
In a new report, Business Insider says that it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for NASA’s records about SpaceX employees’ drug use.
The website got answers, sort of: heavily-redacted files that didn’t give much information at all. What’s more, those few answers were only given after BI caught NASA trying to claim it didn’t have records from any such investigation despite it being widely reported back in 2019 that the agency had paid SpaceX $5 million to look into the matter.
What the website did find, however, is fairly telling.
In the FOIA documents BI obtained, NASA moved quickly after Elon Musk’s infamous blunt-smoking Joe Rogan appearance in 2018, informing SpaceX that it was going to investigate the spaceflight company’s corporate culture less than a week after the incident.
In the letter from former NASA associate administrator William Gerstenmaier — who just so happened to become a SpaceX consult less than 18 months after the letter was sent — relayed the agency’s concerns about the company’s “safety and health practices” and requested it “participate in an organizational safety assessment.”
“It is essential for the integrity of the United States space program to ensure that the development and production of the space systems that will transport astronauts is conducted in a manner that prioritizes safety,” Gerstenmaier wrote in the letter to SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell. “The Safety and Health provision in the contract requires SpaceX to comply with standard industry practices, applicable laws, and other relevant provisions of the contract, such as the requirement to maintain a drug-free workplace.”
The three-month investigation — which yes, NASA has kept quiet for more than four years — involved interviews with nearly 300 SpaceX employees “at all levels” working at the company’s facilities in California, Florida and Texas, BI reports.
Whatever NASA gleaned from those interviews, however, has been entirely blacked out under a public records exemption that allows redactions if publicizing the information “could harm the competitive posture or business interests of a company.”
When BI reached out to NASA about why it wouldn’t share the results of the probe, which no doubt could have been summarized at the very least, an agency spokesperson said the “results of the assessment are company proprietary, and NASA does not intend to release the results publicly.”
Interestingly, Musk himself may have revealed some information himself about the probe when he told a different podcaster last year that he and all his employees at SpaceX “had to have random drug tests” after the toke heard round the world. Per his reckoning, however, it was unnamed competitors who put the agency up to it.
More on SpaceX secrets: A SpaceX Worker Died and They Kept It a Secret
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