Get bad news and special reports. News and stories that are important are delivered on Sunday.
From Alyssa Newcomb
NASA will investigate space work in SpaceX and Boeing, including the use of drugs, just months before both companies start astronauts on their first flights, the agency confirmed on Wednesday.
The "Cultural Assessment Study" will be conducted over the next few months and comes as the two companies prepare for a busy 2019 year. Space Crew Dragon and Starlinger of Boeing are scheduled to launch test flights next year.
"We fully expect our commercial partners to meet all the requirements for workplace safety in carrying out our missions and services provided by the American people," the agency said in a statement.
SpaceX and Boeing became commercial partners of NASA in 2014 and signed agreements to develop astronaut launch systems at the American Space Station International Space Station.
After the space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA buys seats for its astronauts of the Russian Federation at $ 81 million per capita, while SpaceX and Boeing are ready to begin to carry astronauts in space.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the investigation was triggered by marijuana by SpaceX's chief executive, Elon Mas, during a live podcast in September. The podcast was broadcast by California, where marijuana is legal – despite being banned at the federal level.
A spokeswoman for NASA declined to comment on whether muscle lighting was what prompted the review. The SpaceX representative did not immediately answer questions about the time of the review and what could have been a catalyst.
Time and public statements for the review are unusual, especially since the two companies should launch astronauts next year, said Jim Cantrell, CEO of Vector Space Systems and a founder member of SpaceX.
Cantrell said he did not remember such a thing during his decades-long experience, but suggested that it could be a way for NASA to deal with any "internal clashes" generated by the front pages of the smoking of male marijuana.
"SpaceX actively promotes workplace safety and we are confident that our comprehensive non-drug labor programs outweigh all applicable contracting requirements," the company said in a statement.
The Boeing culture "guarantees the integrity, safety and quality of our products, our people and their working environment," the airline said in a statement Wednesday.
Boeing's Starliner has been set up for two test aircraft later next year, with a second astronaut carrying astronauts.
SpaceX has to launch its Crew Crew in January. The flight test in June will take people into space, marking the main milestone for Moscow and his team. The team is preparing for a new era of commercial space flight. In 2023, SpaceX plans to take the first tourist on the moon.