Crazy Astronaut Fired from NASA – Sent to Navy

Crazy, diaper-wearing would-be murderer Lisa Nowak has been fired from NASA and returned to duty as a U.S. Navy captain.

Lisa Marie Nowak in Orange NASA Flight Suit (small) Astronaut Lisa Nowak was fired from NASA on Wednesday, a month after she was charged with trying to kidnap a woman she regarded as her romantic rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.

Nowak’s dismissal did not reflect the space agency’s belief in her guilt or innocence, NASA officials said. The agency said it lacked an administrative system to handle the allegations because Nowak is a naval officer on assignment to NASA, rather than a NASA civil servant.

If Nowak were a civil servant, NASA would have the choice of placing her on administrative leave, leave without pay or indefinite suspension until the charges are resolved, said NASA spokesman James Hartsfield in Houston. But because she is an officer, those options are not available.

Nowak, a Navy captain, instead will return to the military. She will be assigned to the staff at the Chief of Naval Air Training in Corpus Christi, Texas, starting in two weeks, Navy Cmdr. Lydia Robertson said. Robertson said she didn’t know what specific job Nowak would be doing.

The former Army officer in me sees much humor in this development.

Still, the woman is obviously mentally ill and needs some help. One would like to think she will be sent to a Navy hospital rather than assigned duties training young pilots.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Military Affairs, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Joe Weber says:

    As a former AF Pilot, they’re not gonna let her NEAR an airplane. Filing papers probably.

  2. As the saying goes: right way, wrong way, Navy way.

  3. Rick Zabala says:

    It is all surprising. It seems that Lisa Nowak was more of social engineer than a science engineer. She was able to charm, network, pursue, focus, and socially tool her way to top. Charming her way to be a pilot with such a short stature…Or may she did have talent, real critical thinking ability, and creativity but stressed out–too much push.

  4. just me says:

    I agree with Joe-they aren’t going to let her near anything important. She will probably be ridind a desk, and one where important stuff doesn’t come across it.

  5. Remember the reserve air force Sargent who was dismissed from active duty because she posed for playboy. I think they said conduct prejudicial to her being able to command the respect of her peers or something. So how do you square that with asking someone to command the respect of her subordinates after going just a bit over the top.

  6. James Joyner says:

    So how do you square that with asking someone to command the respect of her subordinates after going just a bit over the top.

    I’m sure Nowak will be medically retired from the Navy in the not-too-distant future. It just takes time for that sort of thing to happen. Manhart was ultimately discharged from active service but it took a while.

  7. And presumably while the wheels of justice grind slowly, she will be put in charge of inventorying the paper clips or something. Preferably nothing sharp or that could go bang.