NASA Fires Nowak From Astronaut Corps

NASA terminates Nowak from space program, Orlando Sentinel

"NASA announced today that Navy Capt. Lisa Nowak's assignment in the space agency's astronaut corps will end Thursday. Nowak, who was arrested last month in Orlando on charges she attempted to kidnap a romantic rival, remains an active duty naval officer. She has been "on detail" to NASA as an astronaut since her selection in 1996."

NASA Statement Regarding the Status of Astronaut Lisa Nowak

"NASA requested an end to the detail because the agency lacks the administrative means to deal appropriately with the criminal charges pending against Nowak. Because Nowak is a naval officer on assignment to NASA, rather than a NASA civil servant, she is not subject to administrative action by NASA."

Editor's note: In other words, after decades of using military personnel as astronauts it never occurred to NASA to put a policy place to deal with such contingencies. What has me wondering is what NASA will do now - and what policies are - or (more likely) are not in place to deal with such a situation when the individual is not active duty military personnel. Its so easy for NASA to just to dump Lisa Nowak (and associated issues) back on the Navy. It would not be so easy to deal with a similar situation involving NASA civil servants. Indeed, with nearly 20,000 civil servants at NASA, it is rather astonishing that no one ever put such capabilities in place - or planned to do so - in the nearly 50 years the agency has been in existence. Is NASA looking into doing so now?

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 8, 2007 8:00 AM.

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