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Unsettling news from NASA

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There is unsettling news from NASA today as the space agency prepares to send the shuttle endeavor into space next month. One report says a saboteur damaged a NASA computer and another says astronauts were cleared for liftoff -- even though they were drunk on duty. NASA's astronaut corps boasts some of the best and brightest. Fighter pilots, engineers, physicists. Now a disturbing report says at least two of its members may be drunks. According to an independent NASA panel, two astronauts were allowed to fly despite doctors warnings they had been drinking and posed a flight risk. NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale said, Unlike the days of the Apollo missions, shuttle astronauts are not isolated before flight. There are no specific rules about pre-flight drinking though astronauts are expected to honor a traditional 12-hour alcohol-free "bottle to throttle guideline." ABD News consultant John Nance said, "The things we need you to be able to do instantaneously if there is an emergency, these are retarded by just the after effects of a drinking binge. It is unacceptable." The panel that wrote the report was formed after another embarrassment to the agency. In February astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested on assault charges after driving nearly a thousand miles in a diaper, to confront a romantic rival. NASA is also dealing with apparent sabotage. An outside contractor was arrested for cutting wires on a computer, destined for the international space station.

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