NASA Launch Party? Cocaine Found in Shuttle Hangar

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Talk about being spaced out on the job.

This week NASA launched an investigation to find out which of its employees breached a zero-tolerance policy on drugs after cocaine was found in a space shuttle hangar. The tiny bag of "space dust" was found outside a bathroom at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said Thursday that the bag contained a tiny amount of the illegal substance. It was found by a worker in a secure part of the hangar that is accessible by about 200 NASA employees and contractors.

NASA is drug testing and interviewing workers, as well as using drug-sniffing dogs.

To make things worse for NASA, this is the same base where astronauts are due to blast off into orbit next month. While the space agency claims that the mission will not be affected, the discovery of cocaine in a hangar where space shuttles are processed before flight does raise serious safety concerns.

It turns out NASA already had a reputation for pre-gaming. Three years ago, NASA was forced to deny allegations of boozy parties in crew quarters when an official report claimed that at least two astronauts had flown into space while drunk.

Now comes the hangover.

Story contributed by Peter Shaw of 48 Hours | Mystery.