Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What's Up With That? #43: Some people call her the Space Cowgirl

In what is believed to be a first in the NASA ranks, an active-duty astronaut has been arrested on felony charges, including attempted kidnapping and attempted vehicle burglary with battery.

It's tempting to look at her mugshot and say, "She's obviously no rocket scientist." Except for the fact that she is.

U.S. Navy Captain Lisa Marie Nowak (to be referred to hereafter as "Yes-wack"), a NASA mission specialist who flew on Shuttle Discovery last July, drove from the Johnson Space Center in Houston to Orlando International Airport to confront a woman she believed was romantically involved with another astronaut. Nowak told police that she and the male astronaut in question, shuttle pilot William Oefelein, had "more than a working relationship, but less than a romantic relationship," whatever in tarnation that means.

Nowak apparently discovered — via e-mails she confiscated — that the other woman, an Air Force captain named Colleen Shipman, was involved with Oefelein. Incensed at the prospect of competition for Wild Bill's affection, Nowak blazed a 1,000-mile trail across the southern states, wearing an adult diaper so she wouldn't have to take potty breaks. (Listen, you don't want to have to stop to pee when you're already... well... you know.)

When she caught up with Captain Shipman in the OIA parking lot, Nowak was wearing a trenchcoat and wig, and was armed with a BB gun, a four-inch folding knife, and pepper spray, the latter of which she deployed in the startled Shipman's car. Shipman escaped and called the authorities, who corraled Nowak as she was disposing of the evidence of her sordid escapade.

As a member of the Discovery crew on Shuttle Mission STS-121, Nowak operated the shuttle's robotic arm during three spacewalks undertaken by two other astronauts — who right this moment are thanking their lucky stars that Lisa didn't "wig out" while they were pulling an EVA. An astronaut since 1996, Nowak gained notice at the time of her shuttle flight for being the first Italian American woman in space. [Insert your own ethnically insensitive, Godfather-derived joke here, if you have no shame.]

Nowak, incidentally, is married — though not to the aforementioned astronaut Oefelein. She's also the mother of three children, who will doubtless find themselves the subject of intense schoolyard buzz for the rest of the academic year.

According to her official NASA bio, "Lisa enjoys bicycling, running, skeet, sailing, gourmet cooking, rubber stamps, crossword puzzles, piano, and African violets."

They conveniently omitted her fondness for kidnapping, mayhem, unrequited love, and Depends.

Labels: , ,

7 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Anonymous offered these pearls of wisdom...

Hilarious... you've been bookmarked.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Janet offered these pearls of wisdom...

This certainly gives new meaning to the phrase, "To the moon, Alice".:)

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous offered these pearls of wisdom...

the charges now include attempted 1st degree murder as well.

7:20 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Anonymous #1: Thanks for the compliment, and the bookmark. Next time you drop by, identify, so I can return the favors!

Janet: Doesn't it just, though? Imagine being stuck on a long space flight with this woman. Yikes.

Anonymous #2: No surprise there. Lisa was packing the complete Jack Bauer starter kit in her car. She was primed and ready to go medieval on Captain Shipman.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous offered these pearls of wisdom...

Glad they caught her, no need for senseless murderesses to run loose...yes your comments are great swanshadow

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous offered these pearls of wisdom...

Now they claim she was under stress due to juggling her career and family... hello, we all juggle career and family. How about all those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. Some are even single parents! Maybe it was the adultery that made her wig out... As an officer in the military much less an astronaut, she should be covering her head. C'mon there is no justification here for what she did.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Sam offered these pearls of wisdom...

You know what gets my goat? The Super Bowl, Anna Nicole and this all in the same week and I don't have web service at home.

I would have had a field day with this if I had the time...

10:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home