In defense of drunken astronauts

Well said.

Cut these cowboys some slack. These are not wobbly Northwest Airlines pilots trying to get off the runway and steer through clouds and densely occupied airspace. An ascending space shuttle, I assure you, encounters very little traffic. And for much of liftoff, the astronaut is little more than spam in a can — not pilot but guinea pig. With opposable thumbs, to be sure, yet with only one specific task: to come out alive.

And by the time the astronauts get to the part of the journey that requires delicate and skillful maneuvering — docking with the international space station, outdoor plumbing repairs in Zero G — they will long ago have peed the demon rum into their recycling units.

O.K.?

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Erick Erickson

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