CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – America’s space agency is waking up to photographs of some of its workers caught snoozing on the job and playing cards at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
NASA workers appear caught napping on the job at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (courtesy: NASA Watch)
The watchdog website NASA Watch released a series of images reportedly provided by a former NASA employee who also claims to have documented incidents of federal workers surfing the Internet for pornography and engaged in online gambling.
In a post on NASA Watch, the former worker states:
“I worked at MSFC for 5 years and these are the types of things I witnessed and documented. This is only a handful of people that I observed sleeping and playing video games. In addition to playing video games I also documented Teledyne Brown Engineering Employees surfing pornography sites, participating in online gambling, betting on fantasy football and playing video games for extended periods of time. Even though these were NASA contractors the NASA Payload Operations Director was in the room and did not do anything to correct the problem.
I believe the tax payers of this country deserve better and so do the payload developers. How do you think it feels for most people, who work hard every day just to make ends meet, to watch Government employees sleeping and playing, while they make $200 – $300 per day. How do you think the Payload developers are going to feel once they realize that no one is watching their hardware while it is operating in orbit. It makes me sick. What’s even worse is that these photos and video were taken in the wake of Columbia, which should have been a time to fix all the problems that NASA faces but instead everyone went to sleep.
This is not fiction, I can back up everything I’ve said. If you think I’m blugffing (sic), just try me. I have a small video archive of violations I’d be glad to share with you, the rest of America and the World.
You better tighten this ship up before you loose another vehicle.”
The space agency did not dispute the authenticity of the photos, which were estimated to be a little over a year old.
“The pictures … are not indicative of the performance of the overall team. They’re isolated incidents,” NASA spokesman Steve Roy told the Associated Press. “This is serious to us. We’re extremely concerned about it.”
Roy said only one of the employees in the photos still works for the Payload Operations Center.
Workers at Marshall were said to be reviewing rules in the wake of the public disclosure of the pictures.
The photographs come on the heels of a major gaffe admitted by NASA three months ago.
The original magnetic tapes that recorded the iconic images of man’s first footsteps on the moon are missing and scientists fear they are in danger of deteriorating into dust unless they are found quickly and converted to digital format.