Feeds

Astronaut love-dustup mace space ace Nowak cops plea

Anger management classes for wiggy carpark catfight

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Former astronaut Lisa Nowak - world-famous for gassing a rival over the extramarital affections of a space shuttle pilot - pled guilty yesterday to reduced charges, in a bargain with prosecutors that will see her avoid any further jail time.

Nowak, a US Navy aviator and NASA mission-specialist, was accused of confronting air force captain Colleen Shipman in the car park at Orlando airport, having driven cross-country from Texas without rest to do so. Police said that Nowak had disguised herself in a wig and trenchcoat for the occasion and tooled up with items including a knife, mallet, surgical tubing and rubbish bags - allegedly indicative of sinister plans on her part.

Having failed to gain access to Shipman's motor, Nowak attempted to pepper-spray the younger woman through the car window. Shipman fled the scene at this point, and Nowak was subsequently braceleted by local cops.

Police later said they had found used nappies in Nowak's car, perhaps worn by her to avoid the need for comfort stops during her cross-country dash to intercept Shipman. Nowak's PR and legal team have stated that this is not true, and that the nappies had in fact been used (or possibly not used) by the astronaut's children, then four years old, when the family fled Hurricane Rita eighteen months prior to the airport car park unpleasantness.

The bad blood between Nowak, a married mother of three, and Shipman had arisen due to rivalry between the women for the affections of Navy officer and Shuttle-piloting love-rat Bill Oefelein. He had enjoyed the attentions of both ladies concurrently - and perhaps those of his then wife as well.

Legal manoeuvres following Nowak's arrest have dragged on for more than two years, with her lawyers attempting to have various evidence thrown out and at one time seeming to prepare a defence of temporary insanity. Now, however, Space.com reports that Nowak has pled guilty to felony burglary of a conveyance and a misdemeanour battery, charges considerably less serious than those of attempted kidnapping, battery and attempted burglary of a car with assault which she had originally faced.

The judge sentenced her to two days' jail - which Nowak has already served - a year of supervised probation, community service and an 8-hour anger management class. The ex-astronaut was also ordered to have no further contact with either Oefelein or Shipman, other than writing a letter of apology to the latter within 10 days.

Since the arrest, Nowak has been ejected from the astronaut corps and placed in a holding assignment by the US Navy pending today's civil court results. She is now likely to face military charges, probably including conduct unbecoming an officer.

Nowak has previously said she is "shocked and overwhelmed" at the media coverage of the case, evidently amazed that anyone could find anything interesting about a nappy-, knife- and hammer-toting, trenchcoated, bewigged astronaut mother of three setting about a younger rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot with non-lethal riot agents. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.