July 26, 2005
Shuttle Astronauts To Be Subjected To Random Spot Searches
NASA announced today that shuttle astronauts would be subjected to random spot searches starting this morning. Launch Director Algonquin Brown explained that the searches were reasonable measures designed to make shuttle launches safer.
The program was inspired by New York City's new program instituting random searches of passengers' bags on the city's subways. "The program has been very successful," Brown told reporters. "Not a single tile has fallen off the "6" train since they started searching people last Friday."
A Federal marshall assigned to administer the random spot checks shook down Commander Eileen Collins early this morning and discovered two packs of dentyne, a canister of lipstick that works in zero gravity and a nail clipper. The nail clipper was confiscated because Federal regulations prohibit the carrying of nail clippers into a cockpit.
NASA expects that random searches of astronauts may delay future launches and diminish astronauts' sense of privacy, but "that's the price you pay for liberty in a free society," said Brown.
In related news, New York City police officers assured the public that they were not profiling or targeting only Arab-looking males during searches. "We're harassing everyone," a spokesman said.
Posted by Tom Burka at 9:33 AM