February 7, 2007

This astronaut wasn't too well grounded.

Nowak? YESwak, I'd say.

Of course, I'm talking about the case of astronaut Lisa Nowak who apparently blew an O-ring and drove 9 hours from Houston to Orlando to... well, we don't know what, to a rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut.

Yes, this is the same person in both shots


The police make her sound like a cold-blooded, calculating killer stalking her prey, and say she intended to kidnap the rival, but in the end, all she did was stand crying at the window of her victim's car and spray her with pepper spray.

Kind of sad actually, and of course the media will run it into the ground. (and obsess about the diapers) Sounds like a very sad case of an exceptionally accomplished woman, wife and mother pushed over the edge.

It appears her devotion to her career had strained her home life and she and her husband were separated. Then she falls for a handsome fellow astronaut and something happened that she obviously couldn't cope with, at least not rationally. Looking at Nowak's official NASA portrait next to her mug shot, it's clear just how much she's been through.

It's also interesting to note that reports say she'd passed her psychological exams and was cleared for flight less than a year ago.

More from the Washington Post's report.

13 Comments:

At 2/07/2007 12:44 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Refreshing to see someone viewing this woman with something very close to compassion and not the scorn we find elsewhere.

 
At 2/07/2007 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that this woman didn't succeed with her plan and cut this woman into little pieces. I have compassion for the victim not the mad want to be killer. This woman took her children and turned them from being looked up to to being made fun of. Her husband has to go on without a wife who had been cheating on him and raise these two innocent children.
What is wrong with you Dope and Nancy?

Lets get compassion to those who deserve it.

 
At 2/07/2007 11:49 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon... who deserves the compassion here in your mind?

First of all, you're ignorant of the basic facts of the case. The woman was NOT cheating on her husband. They'd been separated for some time now, and there's no indication that she and the fellow astronaut had any sort of sexual relationship. In her statement, she said that it wasn't even of a romantic nature.

Because she happened to have a knife at her hotel room you now have read her mind and know that she intended to hack this woman to pieces? Your amazing psychic ability is something else.

Don't be so quick to get on your high horse and judge people without knowing even the basic facts, much less the people involved and the circumstances. That's all I'm saying.

 
At 2/08/2007 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people have charged her with atempted murder. That is a serius charge that must have merrit. She says that she wasn't cheating on her husband. Youmust think OJ is innocent. I have some swamp land in New Orleans for you if you want. This is an odd person to come to the rescue to.

 
At 2/08/2007 9:05 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Like I said, unfortunately, it probably is odd I guess to actually look at a situation and avoid leaping to utterly unproven conclusions like you seem to enjoy doing, even to the point of criticizing anyone who doesn't.

Let's see if an attempted murder charge sticks when all she actually did was spray some pepper spray.

And you confuse me when you write, "She says she wasn't cheating on her husband."

What is that in reference to? No one has even alleged that she cheated on her husband, except perhaps the commenter earlier who leapt to uninformed conclusions.

I guess you're saying that she's lying? How can she be? When someone has been officially separated for some time, it's a little iffy if a relationship with someone else is "cheating" per se.

And if she is lying and she and this astrodude did have a sexual relationship, then her actions would be even more understandible, if not defensible.

Try to control your blood lust, stop watching Nancy Grace, and let the facts lead where they may, and please try to have at least a shred of human empathy for the unfortunate woman whose family, career, and life are now irretreivably and permanently destroyed and who has to have her personal tragedy play out in front of the entire world.

 
At 2/08/2007 10:02 AM, Anonymous yinn said...

Just because they charged her with attempted murder doesn't automatically mean it has merit. Charges are inflated all the time for one reason or another. Fortunately, the prosecutor has to prove both an attempt and an intent--innocent until proven guilty, remember?

 
At 2/09/2007 6:31 AM, Blogger nicodemus said...

It makes me seriously wonder if there something about space travel that adversely affects a person's mental health and well being. Look at some other examples: astronaut Buzz Aldrin has suffered from clinical depression; Neil Armstrong is alleged to be an eccentric recluse, and now we have this sad story about Lisa Nowack. There may be more cases that NASA doesn't want us to know about.

Maybe there is nothing to it. Granted, there are millions of Americans who have mental health issues on some level. Perhaps these astronauts are isolated examples and all of the astronauts over the years are just fine.

Now we all know how flakey people here on earth get whenever there is a full moon. So it stands to reason that if you get closer to the moon, or stand on the moon, then it might not be good for a human's brain.

You have to take into account other factors: the effect of being in orbit, travelling at high speeds, as well as just being out there with all those space rays floating around. It doesn't take a NASA scientist to see that an astronaut's mind could be affected.

Something to think about.

 
At 2/09/2007 9:07 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Nico,
That's certainly something I trust they'll be investigating. There certainly is enough to go on, as you note.

An interesting corellation if it's found to exist. Might be something like a "space hangover".

 
At 2/09/2007 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If she had to stop for gas, couldn't she have forgone the DEPEND? If she didn't stop for gas, I would love to know what she drives!

 
At 2/09/2007 4:49 PM, Anonymous freda said...

I think it's sad that so many people are actually interested in the misfortunes in other's private lives. That being said, hypothetically, can you think of any reason that someone would wear diapers, pack a disquise and miscellaneous weapons to confront a woman who was having a relationship with her "friend". I've known people - mostly men - who have done some pretty stupid things over jealousy or a failed relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

 
At 2/10/2007 10:34 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 9:59.... EXACTLY! I wondered that same thing when I heard the report.
They say she drove 900 miles.... I don't know about you, but unless I customized my car and turned the back seat into a gas tank, I think I would have had to stop for gas.

Could it be this precision obsessed astonaut wanted to shave the few extra moments it would take to use the restroom off the trip?

I guess she did have a deadline though, as it appears she knew when this rival's flight was going to arrive and had to be there in time.

I guess the bottom line is that the diaper thing makes no sense.... just like everything else she did.

 
At 2/10/2007 10:40 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Freda,

First of all, I'm not spending time and energy trying to delve into other people's private lives or history. I'm just commenting on what was initially widely reported. Neither am I trying to spread a story that hadn't already been reported once every 5 minutes for days. (could you even avoid hearing about it?)

Obviously she'd cooked up some sort of misguided scheme, though no one knows what it was, and she certainly didn't carry it out, beyond pathetically crying and spraying pepper spray through a crack in the side window of her rival's car.

I'm sure the court will sort it out.

 
At 2/17/2007 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the diaper was due to the fact that she was afraid she'd have to "wait in line" for a bathroom stall. There are never enough toilets for women your know!

She had a deadline to keep and waiting in line was not in the calculations.

 

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