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Drunk Astronauts


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#46    GirlInBlack

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:03 PM

This happens in the military all the time too. My history teacher in college said that this was extremely common going all the way back to the civil war, and WW2. Anywhere a person would need a little liquid courage, they will usually imbibe alcohol. Anyone who is shocked that people drink before riding what is essentially a giant bomb into outer space are naive.

Edited by GirlInBlack, 21 October 2007 - 08:06 PM.


#47    Stixxman

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 02:26 PM

Yes thats what I thought klc9100 & girlinblack

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#48    jaylemurph

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 02:52 PM

GirlInBlack on Oct 21 2007, 04:03 PM, said:

This happens in the military all the time too. My history teacher in college said that this was extremely common going all the way back to the civil war, and WW2. Anywhere a person would need a little liquid courage, they will usually imbibe alcohol. Anyone who is shocked that people drink before riding what is essentially a giant bomb into outer space are naive.


The British navy had rum /rations/ for just that purpose.
But I agree with Stixx -- if I went up into space strapped on top of a sustained explosion (and I never would), I'd want some Dutch courage.

--Jaylemurph

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#49    MID

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 03:33 PM

Stixxman on Oct 19 2007, 11:00 AM, said:

I was reading an article about astronauts taking a little nip before launch and how scandal like that is and couldn't help but think, the world is turning into a playground for lames and larrys.  Who cares if they have a little drink before launch, as long as their not the pilot or copilot who cares.  These guys have the craziest job in the world, I don't blame them if they need a little liquid courage.  Its funny too but the quetsions they asked were supposed to be anonomous, which shouldn't include releasing the results to the public so that without knowing who exactly does it every nincumpoop will assign it to all astronauts.  Im really tired of some of the dumbest people in creation(journalists) deciding whats news worthy, these dummies are clueless.




<a href="http://www.foxnews.c...onauts,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Oct18/0,4...ronauts,00.html</a>



Stixx:

Just to be accurate, this issue has been cleared completely.
There has never been an instance where any space flight crew member has had even a wee drink "before launch".

I think everyone involved with a given mission would care if any member of a crew had a drink before launch.

However, the story was fully investigated, because it had to be, despite the fact that it was essentially ridiculous at the outset.

It was never actually newsworthy.  


However, astronauts do drink, even in crew quarters, but not the night before or during lauch day.  No one, ever.   Further, no astronaut who has devoted his or her life to their chosen profession, and who spent the past two years of his or her life in intense training for a mission would think about drinking just prior to a launch...


#50    Stixxman

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 03:42 PM

I agree mid I just found the tone a little insulting to these guys that litterally risk thier kives to expand our over all understanding of the world and universe.  What right do a bunch of "reporters' have to say ANYTHING.  They do have gaul these reporters, which is not the same as nuts.  They are entited to unwind without it becoming fodder for the nincumpoops in the media.

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#51    MID

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:05 PM

Stixxman on Oct 23 2007, 11:42 AM, said:

What right do a bunch of "reporters' have to say ANYTHING.  They do have gaul these reporters, which is not the same as nuts.  They are entited to unwind without it becoming fodder for the nincumpoops in the media.



You make a very good point.

I'd have to honestly say that fundamentally, the media has the right to say what they want, just like anyone else.

However, I will also say that they have an obligation to be responsible, accurate, and pertinent in what they say, as they are charged with reporting to the public. One should think the truth would weigh out over stupidity.

Unfortunately, the media, by-and-large has been missing those aspects in what it does...for some time!

Thus, I'd say they also have the right to be called to the carpet for their frequent ineptitude...

Honestly, I've been annoyed with space reporters since the early days of the program.  They are media folks, and they're there to talk.  So many times I would watch something on the TV and say, "Shut up!" to the commentator, as he clogged up the events in space with silly, innacurate gibberish.

But that's another issue.  In this case, reporting on an unsubstantiated anonomous source complaint, without even considering the absolute untenability of the claims, was irresponsible, and downright stupid.

I think we're in complete agreement on this isuue.


#52    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:23 PM

This seems to have very little to do with "Extraterrestrial Life & The UFO Phenomenon" so I am going to move it to the Space and Astronomy forum and merge it with the existing thread on this subject.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#53    Stixxman

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 02:54 PM

especially since there was very very little chance he would ever be able to name his source due to the fact that everthing was supposed to be confidential.  So all the reporter had was hearsay, that could never be validated and was unspecific.  Yeah........a real professional journalist.....right.

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#54    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:28 PM

MID on Oct 23 2007, 11:05 PM, said:

Honestly, I've been annoyed with space reporters since the early days of the program.  They are media folks, and they're there to talk.  So many times I would watch something on the TV and say, "Shut up!" to the commentator, as he clogged up the events in space with silly, innacurate gibberish.

But that's another issue.  In this case, reporting on an unsubstantiated anonomous source complaint, without even considering the absolute untenability of the claims, was irresponsible, and downright stupid.

I think we're in complete agreement on this isuue.


I'm not old enough to have been annoyed with space reporters for that long but I remember my annoyance with the UK journalist that was claiming that there was some hope for the Challenger crew as parachutes had been seen. I couldn't understand how someone paid to inform people on a subject could do so with such a fundamental lack of knowledge as to not know that (pre-STS 51L) there was no escape system on a shuttle.

However in this case I have to defend the media to a certain degree. They were reporting what had been said by an inquiry into the mental health of astronauts. It was this inquiry that made the unsubstantiated accusations and it was they that should have realised the implications of what they were claiming.

That the media reported these accusations and that they go blown out of all proportions was entirely predictable and avoidable.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#55    MID

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:08 PM

Quote

'Waspie_Dwarf' date='Oct 24 2007, 11:28 AM'
I'm not old enough to have been annoyed with space reporters for that long but I remember my annoyance with the UK journalist that was claiming that there was some hope for the Challenger crew as parachutes had been seen. I couldn't understand how someone paid to inform people on a subject could do so with such a fundamental lack of knowledge as to not know that (pre-STS 51L) there was no escape system on a shuttle.


Yes...I can see where the annoyance could arise from something like that... mad.gif

God...that's not the only dumb thing I remember from media coverage of Challenger  (I remember some really dumb things from Apollo!).  



Quote

That the media reported these accusations and that they go blown out of all proportions was entirely predictable and avoidable.


Agreed... hmm.gif


#56    MID

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:41 PM

GirlInBlack on Oct 21 2007, 04:03 PM, said:

This happens in the military all the time too. My history teacher in college said that this was extremely common going all the way back to the civil war, and WW2. Anywhere a person would need a little liquid courage, they will usually imbibe alcohol. Anyone who is shocked that people drink before riding what is essentially a giant bomb into outer space are naive.




It's really not a matter of being shocked that they're drinking prior to a flight.
It's a matter of being shocked that the unfounded (and really stupid, untenable, and in fact impossible) idea that a professional astronaut flight crew is drinking just prior to a flight actually came up.


We see this reference to what is essentially a "giant bomb", and "sustained explosion" (as in what Jayle says below):

Quote

But I agree with Stixx -- if I went up into space strapped on top of a sustained explosion (and I never would), I'd want some Dutch courage.

--Jaylemurph



The Shuttle is not a bomb, nor is it a sustained explosion.
A bomb is designed to explode, the Shuttle is not.

It's actually a sustained, highly controlled and very powerful  combustion, not an explosion Jayle.   It's like a jet engine in a way...controlled cumbustion  (alot more thrust, but basically the same idea) .

Now, that being said, a Shuttle's fuel certainly has the potential to be explosive given the "right" conditions, but so does the fuel in any jet aircraft...or in any car for that matter.
However, none of these things are designed to explode.  They are designed to burn fuel in a specific ratio so as to provide power for a given task.


Another point I'd like to make is that many of these comments create the impression that the astronauts are just regular folks who are strapping themselves into a machine they don't understand, and are taking a foolhardy risk by riding it.

Please understand that while y'all wouldn't be inclined to climb aboard a Shuttle and take a ride, and even if you were, might understandably be petrified and need some liquid anesthesia, astronauts are completely inclined to do so, and are not not petrified, but excited.  They are not afraid because they understand the machine and it's functions intimately.

They are experienced and have trained for what they do for years.  What they need, and all have in great measure is confidence, and that confidence has never come from a bottle prior to launch.  It comes from training and knowledge.

...this of course doesn't mean that there aren't some nerves involved.  I don't think anyone, even experienced crew members and test pilots with multiple space flights, doesn't have a quickened pulse at liftoff.


Why they get aboard, and do what they do, is because they know what they're doing, and they want to do it!

Let's remember that there's a Commander who is responsible for the crew's perfomance and well being.  He or, in the present case, she, oversees the actions of six other people, each of whom cost millions to prepare for the tasks they are about to execute.  They are professionals, educated, experienced, competent, and rational.   She's not going to allow anyone to jeopardize the success of a mission by getting drunk.

Further, the crew is monitored, and surrounded by hundreds of people while they're at crew quarters prior to launch.  


And additionally, each crew member is loaded with tasks which begin when they board the spacecraft, and which intensify immediately upon arrival on-orbit.  Everyone has to be on their game at all times, and they all know it.  

No one's getting tipsy prior to flight, folks.

The pilot who is in command of the airliner you may fly to see Grandma, hasn't had a drink in the 12 hours prior to taking command of that aircraft.   What is it that makes anyone think that anyone about to fly a Shuttle, a much more complex and difficult task, would be drinking prior to flight??













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