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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 10:39 GMT
E-mails show Nasa 'love triangle'
Capt Nowak (right) and Cmdr William Oefelein
Capt Nowak and Cmdr Oefelein were together "two or three years"
US prosecutors have released e-mails throwing light on a Nasa love triangle that led one astronaut to be charged with attempted kidnapping.

Space shuttle pilot William Oefelein was sent an e-mail while in space by girlfriend Colleen Shipman saying she wanted to "love the hell out of you".

Her rival, astronaut Lisa Nowak, apparently found some of the e-mails.

Ms Nowak allegedly drove 1,000 miles (1,600km) to confront Capt Shipman and pepper sprayed her car.

Capt Nowak said she wore a nappy so she would not have to stop to use the toilet on the journey from Texas to Orlando in Florida.

In the several hundred pages of documents prosecutors released, Capt Shipman said she expressed concern about Capt Nowak to Cmdr Oefelein, asking: "Is there gonna be some crazy lady showing up at my door, trying to kill me?"

Capt Shipman said: "He said, 'No... she's not like that. She's fine with it. She's happy for me'."

'Somewhat exclusive'

Capt Nowak, 43, has denied attempting to kidnap Capt Shipman.

The papers show that Cmdr Oefelein had a two to three year relationship with the married Capt Nowak before he ended it last year to be with Capt Shipman.

You must really have me around your finger that I can't even function without you here
Cmdr Oefelein to Capt Shipman

"We had a relationship but, you know, never really said the word 'girlfriend'," Cmdr Oefelein says.

"We were somewhat exclusive. Nobody prohibited anything, but I would consider her exclusive for a period of time."

Capt Shipman and Cmdr Oefelein had a regular exchange of e-mails.

In one, sent while Cmdr Oefelein was in space on board the shuttle Discovery in December but which he did not read until his return, Capt Shipman says: "Will have to control myself when I see you.

"First urge will be to rip your clothes off, throw you on the ground and love the hell out of you."

In another she says: "The thought of you without clothes is pretty nice... I love you and I am head-over-heals IN love with you."

Capt Nowak
Capt Nowak flew on space shuttle Discovery in July last year

Cmdr Oefelein responds: "You must really have me around your finger that I can't even function without you here."

Nasa spokesman James Hartsfield told Associated Press news agency it did not monitor personal communications.

He said: "The whole system is set up to ensure as much privacy as possible. No review. No censorship. No anything."

The papers reveal Capt Nowak wrote to Cmdr Oefelein's mother thanking her for her support of the relationship and saying: "Bill is absolutely the best person I've ever known and I love him more than ever I knew possible."

Capt Nowak, who flew to the international space station last July, allegedly confronted Capt Shipman at Orlando International Airport, disguised in a wig and trench coat.

Police say Capt Nowak pepper sprayed Capt Shipman's car.

Capt Nowak was stopped allegedly carrying the wig, an air rifle, a steel mallet and a knife.

A search of her vehicle revealed pepper spray and the e-mails.

Astronaut on murder plot charge
06 Feb 07 |  Americas
Astronaut in 'love kidnap plot'
06 Feb 07 |  Americas
Shuttle lifts off in night launch
10 Dec 06 |  Science/Nature
Discovery makes Florida landing
17 Jul 06 |  Science/Nature
From sci-fi to sci-fact
07 Dec 06 |  Magazine


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