Did NASA Pay SpaceX $5 Million So Its Employees Won’t Smoke Weed?

Andrew Cummings
October 21, 2019

The federal agency goes by the government's rules and marijuana is an illegal drug, and the use of illegal drugs violates the terms of the government security clearance that Musk holds because of SpaceX and NASA's partnership.

In response to contracting information obtained by POLITICO this week, NASA agreed to pay SpaceX $5 million in Could to cowl the price of the security evaluation. "'If I was Boeing, I also would have said, 'Why am I being punished without the same compensation?"'

What wasn't disclosed to the overall public on the time, alternatively, used to be that the evaluation of SpaceX wasn't paid for by the firm or its CEO, but by tax payers. Pete Garrettson, a recently retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and space strategist commented on the situation stating: "As a taxpayer why would I pay when I don't have to?"

Defenders of SpaceX highlighted the vast difference in SpaceX's and Boeing's initial contracts for essentially the same work.

In 2014, NASA awarded two contracts-$2.6 billion to SpaceX and $4.82 billion to Boeing-beneath the agency's Commercial Crew Program.

According to Politico, one industry source said that NASA had never ordered such an extensive safety and culture review before, to the point where both SpaceX and Boeing were confused as to what exactly it was.

'NASA is moving forward with fulfilling the objectives of their safety assessment under our current contract, and we are prepared to help our customer meet those goals, ' a Boeing spokesperson told Politico. The identical evaluation of Boeing, although, was paid for from its present contract.

There is no precedent for paying for a contractor to conduct such a review - but neither is there precedent for a federal contractor smoking an illegal substance on a podcast. "And so, as we get close to launching astronauts on rockets again, it's not just NASA that needs to be safe, it's our commercial partners that need to be safe". To ensure that the review is conducted properly, the space agency reportedly funded SpaceX $5 million.

NASA stated that it is "standard practice" for a company to receive additional funds for work not included in the original contract but did not directly answer why no additional funds were offered to Boeing.

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