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Astronaut Lisa Nowak was charged with attempted first-degree murder on February 6, 2007. Police say that Nowak drove 900 miles and donned a disguise before confronting a woman she believed was a competitor for the affections of Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein, an unmarried fellow astronaut. Nowak is shown waving an American flag as she walked out of the Operations and Checkout Building to board the NASA Astrovan en route to the Space Shuttle Discovery for mission STS-121 at Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 4, 2006. (UPI Photo/Pat Benic/Files)
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Lisa Marie Nowak (née Caputo) (born May 10, 1963) is a former American naval aviator naval officer and NASA astronaut. Born in Washington, D.C., she was selected by NASA in 1996 and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics. Nowak flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-121 mission in July 2006, where she was responsible for operating the robotic arms of the shuttle and the International Space Station.

Nowak gained international attention on February 5, 2007, when she was arrested in Orlando, Florida, and subsequently charged with the attempted kidnapping of U.S. Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, who was romantically involved with astronaut William Oefelein. Nowak was released on bail, and initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included attempted kidnapping, burglary with assault, and battery. Her assignment to the space agency as an astronaut was terminated by NASA effective March 8, 2007. On November 10, 2009, Nowak agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to charges of felony burglary of a car and misdemeanor battery.

Nowak remained a U.S. Navy captain until August 2010, when a naval board of inquiry, composed of three admirals, voted unanimously to reduce Nowak in rank to commander and to discharge her from the navy under "other than honorable conditions".

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lisa Nowak."