NASA astronaut to face attempted murder

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Florida prosecutors are upgrading charges against a female NASA astronaut who allegedly attacked a rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut.

Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak, 43, who flew on the shuttle Discovery in July, is accused of attacking NASA engineer Colleen Shipman over her relationship with astronaut Bill Oefelein.


Nowak, a married mother of three, was fitted with an ankle bracelet and bail was set at $15,500 bond after she was arraigned on charges of pepper-spraying and attempting to kidnap Shipman. Shortly afterward, prosecutors said they would file attempted murder charges. Nowak remained in protective custody, CNN reported.

No court date was immediately set.

Police said Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando to confront Shipman about a relationship with Oefelein.

After Shipman's flight landed and she headed for her car, Nowak allegedly followed her and began banging on her car window, police said. When Shipman opened the window, she told police Nowak sprayed pepper spray into the car and Shipman sped away.

Police said they recovered a black bag they saw Nowak throw in a garbage bin and retrieved a wig, a trench coat, a BB pistol, a steel mallet, a folding knife with a 4-inch blade, three to four feet of rubber tubing, several plastic garbage bags and about $600 in cash, the report said.


Nowak reportedly said she had worn diapers during the 950-mile drive so she wouldn't have to stop.

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