Elon Musk’s astronautical baby SpaceX will be the subject of an official safety probe by NASA, following the founder’s famous joint-smoking, whisky-sipping podcast appearance.
The Washington Post reports that NASA, which signed a $3.6 billion contract with SpaceX to develop rockets capable of transporting American astronauts to the International Space Station, will conduct an exhaustive review of the company’s culture to ensure that everything is above board.
In a statement obtained by the paper, NASA spokesperson Bob Jacobs said the review would “ensure [SpaceX is] meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”
Sources with intel on the situation said Musk’s blazed-up appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast was the cause of the review. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine did not directly voice that opinion, but told the paper “culture and leadership start at the top.
“Anything that would result in some questioning the culture of safety, we need to fix immediately.”
Outside of ensuring SpaceX employees and management figures don’t turn up to work while blitzed, the review will look into the working hours of staff, whether safety complaints are taken seriously, and the overall culture fostered at the venture.
The review, which will also target longtime NASA contractor Boeing, comes after several high-profile incidents which raised questions about Musk’s leadership.
In September, Musk left his role of Tesla chairman, after the Securities and Exchange Commission pinged him nearly $28 million for tweets in which he misled the company’s investors. Notably, those tweets referenced 420. That’s the weed number, folks.
Earlier, Musk’s partner, the Canadian electronic music magician Grimes, assured Twitter users that she had personally toured Tesla production facilities and could vouch for the company’s safe working conditions.
Her visit came after a report alleging Tesla routinely mishandled reports of workplace injuries, and had stifled the attempts of employees to unionise.
SpaceX is planning to have real, live astronauts manning its craft by June 2019, review or not.