NASA Paid Elon Musk Millions to Prevent SpaceX Employee Drug Abuse

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 21, 2019

The agency reportedly made the move after the company's founder Elon Musk was filmed while smoking marijuana past year.

When Elon Musk appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast in 2018 and burned down a spliff, he probably didn't realize it would cost taxpayers money.

The event, in addition to releasing millions of memes and establishing Musk as an extremely different CEO than average and without fear of public opinion about him, caused great disgust to the United States government. And Musk, who holds a security clearance, has violated it by engaging in illegal drug use.

"For security purposes, Musk regularly changes his cellular device, at which time his old device is imaged, wiped clean, and stored or destroyed", The Business Insider reported on Friday citing the October 14 document.

Space strategist Pete Garrettson, a recently retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, told Politico that the incident brings up a few issues. "If I was Boeing, I also would have said, 'Why am I being punished without the same compensation?'" "As a taxpayer why would I pay when I don't have to?" he asked.

The publication notes that Boeing received $1.7 billion (R25 billion) more from NASA for its Commercial Crew Program contract than SpaceX did.

At the same time, Boeing said that the workplace review, including interviews with employees at different levels, is part of its current contract.

While dagga is legal in California where Musk's September 2018 interview with Joe Rogan was conducted, it is illegal under federal law, and federal employees and contractors are barred from using illegal drugs.

NASA's other contractor Boeing was also reportedly ordered by the space agency to conduct a similar assessment. A NASA spokesperson told Politico that "after discussions with Boeing...we decided we wouldn't pursue a contract modification to carry out the assessment that's underway".

NASA, in turn, is saying that it is standard practice for the agency to pay extra for work not included in the original contract.

"As with all we do, the ultimate goal is astronaut and public safety for the important missions the companies are undertaking for the American public", the representative added. A long way, powerful more than $5 million.

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