Woes Enough to Drive NASA to Drink, NY Times Blog
"Shana Dale has an unenviable job to do this afternoon: Standing before the TV cameras and reporters and explaining that American astronauts may have flown while drunk. It's been an embarrassing couple of days for NASA, and the snockered rocket jockeys ain't the half of it. The agency also had to announce that somebody had deliberately sabotaged a computer meant for use on the international space station, and not even by some clever software hack: evidently the unnamed miscreant just cut a couple of wires."
"NASA deputy administrator Shana Dale last made the news when she had to explain why NASA's astronuts were all crazy and why that one diaper-wearing lunatic Lisa Nowak was trying to kill the girlfriend of another astronut. Today, she gets to explain graft and drunken astronuts and sabotage and the latest loser news from the world's lamest space agency: How did NASA lose $94 million worth of computers and office crap?"
Editor's note:Let's see what NASA PAO - specifically - NASA JSC PAO - and the astronaut office does about this. Between the Nowak drama (which has yet to play out) and this latest scandal, NASA now has a double barrel public impression floating around that the astronaut office is a safe haven for "girls gone wild/frat boys on the prowl" sort of behavior.
If NASA does not seek to actively take control of this public discussion and focus it on reality - and do so by providing up-front, prompt, factual, and honest information, and making substantive changes in how things are managed at JSC, they will lose all control of this discussion. When that happens the media and late night TV will establish the public's perception of who and what astronauts really are. End result: NASA will have no one to blame but themselves and will have to live with the consequences. Heads up StratComm: it will take more than a bunch of inbred Powerpoint charts and talking points to deal with a situation like this.
This will not simply go away.