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NASA to Review Psychological Screening Process


The U.S. Space Agency (NASA) says it will review its psychological screening process one day after a U.S. astronaut was charged with attempting to kill an alleged romantic rival.

A senior NASA administrator says the space agency will evaluate the process to see if any changes are needed. NASA says astronaut Lisa Nowak, 43, has been removed from flight status and suspended for 30 days.

The astronaut returned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Wednesday.

The charges against her stem from a confrontation she had at the airport in Orlando, Florida early Monday with Air Force officer Colleen Shipman.

Authorities say Nowak drove 1,500 kilometers from Houston to Orlando to confront Shipman over the affections of space shuttle pilot William Oefelein. It is unclear what relationship he had with either woman. NASA says Oefelein has not been suspended from flight status.

Shipman told police that Nowak followed her to a parking lot at the Orlando airport and tried to enter her car. Shipman says Nowak then sprayed a chemical at her, apparently pepper spray.

Police say Nowak had a BB-gun, steel mallet, folding knife, rubber tubing and garbage bags, as well as a letter saying how much she loved Oefelein.

Nowak has also been charged with attempted kidnapping and attempted vehicle burglary with battery.

Nowak, a flight engineer and a U.S. Navy captain, has three children. Her family says Nowak and her husband recently separated after 19 years of marriage. She flew on the Discovery shuttle mission last July.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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