Justice

Diaper Astronaut Gets Plea Deal

Lisa Nowak, the former NASA astronaut accused of attempting to kidnap a romantic rival in 2007, was sentenced to one year of probation after pleading guilty to lesser charges on Tuesday. Motivated by jealousy over a fellow astronaut paramour, Nowak drove more than 1,000 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman, an Air Force captain—but the detail most people remember about the case is that Nowak was so monomaniacally preoccupied with getting to Orlando that she armed herself with adult diapers so she wouldn’t need to pause, even for bathroom breaks en route. When she arrived, Nowak attacked Shipman with pepper spray and tried to break into her car. The object of both women’s affection was NASA space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein, who now lives with Shipman in Alaska and with whom Nowak had a three-year relationship. Nowak pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and misdemeanor battery, and has been sentenced a community service and ordered to write an apology to Shipman.