Love triangle in space!

Media frenzy over NASA attack: Not a giant step for womankind.

By Lynn Harris
Published February 7, 2007 1:20PM (EST)

If you've been anywhere but on Earth lately, you may have missed the news that NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak was charged with attempted murder in a dramatic attack on Air Force engineer Colleen Shipman over a relationship the two apparently had with William Oefelein, another rocketeer. A wig and diapers were involved; don't ask. To my mind, there are three primary reasons that this story has sent the media into total hyperdrive: 1) It's a love triangle. 2) Of astronauts. 3) Starring: A lady astronaut. (With a wig and diapers. I said, don't ask.) As Big Ink notes: "This is kind of awful, mostly because it's the kind of human tragedy that happens every day, only we don't hear about it because it's not astronauts." Right. This one's a biggie in part because we think of astronauts as scary smart, not ... scary. But also? It's Catfight! In! Space! Girl-on-girl action at zero G! When it comes to media frenzies, it rarely gets better than that. Fortunately -- if I may remind us, in an effort to restore a little balance to the universe -- when it comes to lady astronaut accomplishments, it actually does get better than that. Herewith, a shout-out to U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, who two days ago spent over 22 hours in space tweaking the International Space Station's cooling system, thus setting the world space-walking record for women.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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