Bad Astronaut

Astronauts are by necessity equal parts enfant terrible and science nerd. You have to be at least a little reckless to rocket off the planet into a vacuum, but you can't be one of those what'll-I-ever-need-math-for types.

But it's a delicate balance. Lisa Nowak, "mission specialist in robotics" was charged with attempted kidnapping a few months ago, and today we have the allegations that unnamed astronauts flew drunk.

Some "analysts" (whatever that means) suggest that astronauts are such rock stars within NASA that their doctors and managers ("groupies" in this metaphor) turn a blind eye to all sorts of misconduct in hopes of getting invited backstage (into space).

Any undergraduates looking for a sociology thesis?