ORLANDO – First NASA officials said Wednesday it will review psychological screening assessments of astronauts after the recent arrest of Lisa Nowak, who is charged with attempted first degree murde of a romantic rival. Now as friends and strangers try to understand what could have caused her crash landing, new shocking clues emerged.
A family statement said Nowak had recently separated from her husband of 19 years, who works at NASA Mission Control. They have a teenage son and young twin daughters. They also added that the son is unusually hairy.
The AP then reported that there had been signs of problems before Nowak's arrest. In November, police were called to Nowak's home near the Johnson Space Center after a neighbor reported hearing the sounds of dishes being thrown inside and animal like grunting and growling, AP reported.
Nowak, a Navy captain, is accused of accosting Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, 30, in the parking lot of Orlando International Airport early Monday and attacking her with pepper spray. She told police she only wanted to talk with Shipman "...about a great new recipe I found in Women's Astronaut Daily".
Nowak and Shipman were both "in a relationship" with Navy Cmdr. Bill Oefelein, another astronaut, according to a police report of the incident. Nowak told police her relationship with Oefelein was "more than a working relationship, less than a romantic relationship but not necessarily not a relationship type relationship."
But the latest bombshell came as sources revealed that the love triangle was actually a foursome, with Nowak carrying on with an alien wookie creature named Chewbacca.
Jonathan Clark, a friend of Nowak and her husband, appearing on CNN's American Morning, called Nowak "a wonderful, good, caring person" who "was a mother before she was an astronaut. If she hadn't gotten mixed up with that damn wookie, none of this would have happened. Plus once he entered the picture, there were strange balls of hair in the pipes no one could explain. It screwed up the plumbing for the whole neighborhood."
Clark went on to describe an inter-species affair that took both the wookie and Nowak to a galaxy far, far away. The relationship was apparently tumultuous, with Chewbacca unwilling to leave his wookie wife.
Nowak, who has been an astronaut since 1996, flew her first shuttle mission in July, serving as a mission specialist aboard the Discovery. She and crewmate Stephanie Wilson were known as "the robochicks" because of their work with the shuttle's robotic arm. It's now assumed Nowak first encountered Chewbacca on one of her space walks.
Michael Coats, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, issued a statement saying Nowak "is officially on 30-day leave and has been removed from flight status and all wookie-related activities."
"We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. The charges against Lisa Nowak are serious ones that must be decided by the interstellar judicial system, in consultation with the Jedi Council," the statement said.
Nowak's family released their statement from their home in Rockville, Maryland which read, in part: "We hope that the public will keep an open mind about what the facts are regarding wookies and that the galactic justice system will be allowed to run its course."
In related news, Depends, maker of adult diapers, has asked Nowak to be their spokesperson. According to President Lee Kee Butts, they plan to tout the brand's "...out of this world leakage protection. I mean, 900 miles is a heck of a long drive without stopping."
Billy Dee Williams was unavailable for comment.