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NASA ejects nappy-wearing astronaut

Back to the Navy for you, Nowak

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NASA has fired Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who was charged last month with the attempted kidnapping of a woman she saw as a rival for the affections of fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein.

Nowak is reported to have driven 1,000 miles to confront Colleen Shipman. According to the BBC, she wore a nappy to avoid having to make toilet stops on her journey.

Nowak, a Navy captain, was suspended from active duty by NASA soon after her arrest and placed on 30 days leave. But because she is a serving officer, NASA says, it can't take its normal disciplinary steps.

If a civil servant employee of the space agency was similarly accused, NASA says its policy is clear. It could put her on administrative leave, leave without pay, or indefinite suspension until the charges are resolved.

But because of her status as a serving officer, these options are not available and the agency has had to let her go.

So, Nowak is no longer NASA's problem: she will return to the Navy where she is expected to report to the Chief of Naval Air Training in Corpus Christi, Texas, in two weeks' time. Navy spokespeople have not elaborated on what her likely duties will be.

Nowak has pleaded not guilty to the charges of attempted kidnapping and burglary with assault. She has been ankle-tagged and released on bail.

Oefelein, meanwhile, is still on active duty with NASA. ®

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