Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

NASA To Review Screening Process Amid Love-Triangle Case

Lisa Nowak flew on a Shuttle Discovery mission in July 2006. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 07, 2007
NASA officials on Wednesday said they were to launch a review of psychological screening procedures for astronauts in the wake of a bizarre love-triangle case. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was to "initiate a review of existing psychological screening for admittance into the astronaut corps," NASA deputy administrator Shana Dale told a news conference at the space agency's headquarters in Washington.

NASA has been left reeling since 43-year-old astronaut Lisa Nowak was charged on Tuesday with the attempted murder and kidnapping of a woman she believed to be competing for the attentions of a space shuttle pilot.

Dale also said that NASA would conduct "a review of the nature and extent to which we do ongoing psychological assessments during an astronaut's career at NASA."

Nowak flew home to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday after being released on 25,500 dollar bail by a judge in Orlando, Florida, where she was arrested on Monday after allegedly attacking another NASA employee, Colleen Shipman.

Nowak, who flew on a Shuttle Discovery mission in July, allegedly thought Shipman was a rival for the affections of 41-year-old space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein.

The case has captured headlines around the world, but NASA officials were quick to voice their support and sympathy for all those involved, including Nowak whose work at NASA was decribed as "excellent."

"This was a tragic event, impacting many lives along the way. And I think we need to deal with that with empathy and a certain level of compassion," Dale told the news conference.

But she added: "In terms of long-term ramifications, I don't necessarily see it at this point. This is a very unique situation that we're facing."

Dale confirmed that Nowak, who is married with three children, had been taken off flight status and was now on a 30-day leave. She had been scheduled for the upcoming shuttle mission, in March.

The NASA administrator said that astronauts, in addition to regular health checkups throughout their time of service to NASA, receive "extensive" medical examinations prior to each flight.

Although those examinations do not include a separate component on psychological assessment, NASA health care providers "look for any potential issues or problems," she said.

Astronauts scheduled for long duration flights, such as an extended mission on the International Space Station, must undergo extensive psychological examinations, she added.

Dale said NASA administrator Michael Griffin on Tuesday had ordered the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Mike Coats, to conduct an internal review of psychological screening.

Griffin on Wednesday asked NASA's chief medical officer Rich Williams to review procedures to determine whether changes should be made "to ensure our astronauts have the level of psychological and medical care and attention they need," she said.

Dale refused to discuss "confidential personnel matters" and said NASA could not answer questions linked to the ongoing legal case.

"This is a very difficult time for many people, and it is a very tragic event," she said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
News About Space Exploration Programs
Space Shuttle News at Space-Travel.Com
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Space Commercialization Contracts Signed
Washington (UPI) Feb 01, 2007
NASA says it has signed a space commercialization contract with PlanetSpace Inc. of Chicago and the Transformational Space Corp. of Reston, Va. NASA said the agreements signed Wednesday are designed to facilitate the commercialization of low-Earth orbit as capabilities are developed to transport goods and people to orbital destinations.

  • SpaceDev Conducts Hot-Fire Test Of Hybrid Upper Stage Rocket Motor
  • Lockheed Martin Readies For Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle At Kennedy Space Center
  • Test Flights Of Angara Boosters To Start In 2010
  • Researchers Create New Class Of Compounds

  • Sea Launch Zenit Explodes On Pad
  • Sea Launch Operations To Be Resumed Despite Liftoff Failure
  • SpaceWorks Engineering Releases Study On Emerging Commercial Transport Services To ISS
  • JOULE II Launches With Success At Poker Flat

  • Shuttle Atlantis Processing Picks Up The Pace
  • Space Shuttle Launch Rescheduled

  • ISS Crew Conduct Back To Back Spacewalks Over Several Days
  • Activity Filled Schedule Keeps Astronauts Busy On Space Station
  • Astronauts For Shuttle Japanese Experiment Module Kibo Mission Assigned
  • US Astronauts To Conduct Three Spacewalks By February 8

  • Astronauts' Image Falls Back To Earth In Love Triangle Case
  • US Astronaut Charged With Attempted Murder Of Love Rival
  • NASA To Review Screening Process Amid Love-Triangle Case
  • Moonstruck Astronaut Returns Home After Murder Attempt Charge

  • Baker's Dozen Via For Chinese Lunar Rover Design
  • China Holds Firm On Space Test As US Reviews Options
  • China To Launch New Series Of Oceanic Survey Satellites
  • Japan's Abe Charges China Satellite Test Illegal

  • Scientists Study Adhesive Capabilities Of Geckos To Develop Surveillance Or Inspection Robots
  • Japanese Women To Try Lipstick With Touch Of Button
  • First Soft-Bodied Robots Planned
  • Singapore Launches Contest To Build 'Urban Warrior' Robots

  • Opportunity Passes Ten Kilometer Mark
  • Mars Express Camera Now In Its Third Year
  • Spirit Examines Churned-Up Martian Soil
  • Looking For Microbial Martians

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement