Lisa Nowak


1963 –

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Who is Lisa Nowak?

Lisa Marie Nowak is a former American naval flight 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. The episode "Rocket Man" of the police procedural Law & Order: Criminal Intent was loosely based on this incident, and is also referenced in the Ben Folds song Cologne.

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May 10, 1963
Washington, D.C.
  • Catholicism
  • United States of America
  • Italy
  • Bachelor of Science, United States Naval Academy
    Aerospace Engineering
    ( - 1985)
  • Master of Science, Naval Postgraduate School
    Aerospace Engineering
    ( - 1992)
  • Charles W. Woodward High School
    ( - 1981)
  • Bachelor of Science, Naval Postgraduate School
    Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
    ( - 1992)
Lived in
  • Maryland
  • Washington, D.C.

on July 23, 2013


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