Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Astronaut Fired From NASA

Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP) -- 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.

NASA officials said Nowak's dismissal did not reflect the space agency's belief in her guilt or innocence. 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 captain in the Navy, instead will return to the military.

Well, that's reassuring.

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