America's space agency was shaken Thursday by two startling and unrelated reports: One involved claims that astronauts were drunk before flying. The other was news from NASA itself that a worker had sabotaged a computer set for delivery to the international space station.Between these stories and the Lisa Nowak frenzy earlier this year – you remember the diapers and a love triangle, of course – it's been a rough 2007 for the space agency. Then this morning, like clockwork, I started hearing the cable news patter start with the clever turns of phrase, reminiscent of their treatment of "Astro-nut" Nowak. CNN opened a segment with the caption "Drunk Before Launchtime" and another newsreader introduced the story with "Houston, We Have A Drinking Problem…"
Aviation Week & Space Technology reported on its Web site that a special panel studying astronaut health found that on two occasions, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a safety risk.
Yep, you know the media. Any story about hootch is too good to pass up -- especially in the dog days, and particularly among government employees. So I blasted into cyberspace – sober as a judge, I assure you – and found the 10 goofiest headlines for the drunk astronaut story.
10. Drunk Driving in Outer Space -- (Not quite sure how that works, but …)
9. NASA DUI?
8. Drunk Astronauts Go From the Right Stuff to the Hard Stuff (A tad wordy…)
7. Flyin' High
4. Astronauts Off Their Face In Outer Space (Not familiar with the 'off their face' term, but I think it's catchy.)
And the number one nuttiest headline on the boozing astronauts story comes from – no surprise here -- Pravda out of Russia: