Today in Space News: Crazy Lady Astronauts, and Space Junk

I love following news about space. And today’s a real doozy.

First, we’ve got the crazy astronaut story. Wearing diapers, a trench coat and a wig, NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak raced to Orlando in her car to confront a woman that Nowak believed was sleeping with fellow astronaut William Oefelein. She wore the diapers so she wouldn’t have to get out and pee. When she finally found the woman, she sprayed her with a mace-like substance. Here is a nice photo of her, and her mug shot. I love her perfect astronaut hair, an orbital brown bouffant with 80s-style bangs. While this is definitely a sad story, when you’re in a fiction writing class, like me, you can’t help but  think  the truth always trumps fiction. And as a health editor, you can’t help but think borderline personality, anyone?

The second, and far more important chunk of space info, is the news that China blew up a big orbiting satellite, creating an even thicker later of space junk around the planet (and indicating China’s ability to blow up missile-detecting satellites). Humans are such litterbugs, even our orbital space is littered with crap. Already some fancy, expensive sattelites have become damaged, and this has numerous consequences. The poor Hubble telescope has been slammed by debris 725,000 times. Satellites provide lots of important things, from weather patterns, stragetic military information (missiles), communication (cell phones) and endless science data.

Tons of space junk also means that spaceships trying to leave Earth would be forced to navigate the equivalent of an asteroid belt as they leave orbit. With any luck, we’ll be stuck on a hot, melting planet with no satellite communication services. Fun!

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