February 6, 2007 at 6:00 pm
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of Lisa Nowak’s Wikipedia entry, which is quite active in light of recent news/events:
…This is a big docking scandal for NASA, a public relations and recruiting disaster. Can one imagine what might have happened had she done something like this during a long mission? Like to Mars? This could cause some rethinking of the whole manned space program (which is already under fire) and as they say, no bucks, no Buck Rogers.
20:48, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
My response? (reposted from Wikipedia, with minor edits for clarity) –
While I agree that Lisa’s actions and the resulting media buzz are certainly not creating positive spin for NASA, do remember she is also a member of the U.S. military and has been entrusted with flying various military aircraft during her career, among other activities. If this is some underlying personality fault at work, it’s not just NASA that missed the signs, it’s also the U.S. military. Remember, people who’ve committed crimes aren’t unheard of in the U.S. military, just as in all other walks of life; notable examples include: Timothy McVeigh, Lynndie England, Charles Graner, etc. I hardly think one bad apple means the future of manned spaceflight need be called into question. If anything, it calls into question just how reliable “psych evals” really are at detecting/predicting criminal and/or socially deviant behavior. Just some food for thought… 23:51, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Archives from One Year Ago —
February 6, 2007
… and I couldn’t get even get into the Airforce due to nerve deafness in my right ear?
Maybe its time we give serious consideration to our systems of evaluation.
… ‘course I’m not exactly positve I’d pass a psyche evaluation either.
February 7, 2007
Ref: passing psych eval oneself — I’m not sure I would, either. And I’m certain some of our government officials are skating on thin ice, as it were.
That’s my point… to me, this throws a wet rag into the psychiatry and psychology professions moreso than it does NASA and manned spaceflight. It sucks that a U.S. astronaut and U.S. Navy test pilot did something like this, and so (seemingly) out of character, but in a way it adds credence to the fact that we humans still do not understand the depths and complexities of the human mind and psyche.
I can’t think of a more heavily psych-tested population than the U.S. military’s test pilots and NASA’s astronaut candidates and active duty astronauts. If one of them can “snap”, well then, we ALL are probably on more tenuous ground (sanity-wise) than we might like to think, sometimes! (said in humor, but with a stroke of truth to it.)
February 8, 2007
Here’s the beef IMHO:
Who knows what causes irrational thoughts … pressure from something on the brain, external circumstances or chemical imbalances … it can happen to the best and brightest.
Sadly if someones sees it coming, the help available comes with the caveat ‘that in seeking help that will be held against us.’ I regularly deal with ‘aging’ pilots looking to keep their ticket … it is amazing what we will go through to pass a flight physical.
Here’s a situation that stresses my point
… a recent Summa Cum Laude premed graduate received a full scholarship to med school from the Air Force. The person receiving the scholarship began struggling with an eating disorder under the load of first year of medical school AND decided to see a doctor. She was referred to a psychiatrist affiliated with the medical school who treats eating disorders. The student informed the Air Force and her scholarship was pulled. She was assessed for a half year of medical school and will be medically discharged from the Air Force.
Now … give me one good reason that an Astronaut who has spent a lifetime to climb to her post would want to seek help?
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