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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FOI At Work...

From the AP, e-mails showing NASA hard at work avoiding astronaut meltdowns:

NASA e-mails released Wednesday indicate the space agency was looking for ways to prevent astronaut meltdowns just three months before one-time shuttle flier Lisa Nowak was arrested in a scandalous love triangle.

The e-mails from late last year show that space program employees interviewed the former colleagues and the "common-law wife" of ex-astronaut Charles Brady Jr. after he committed suicide in July 2006. It seemed to be an effort to find behavioral clues that could be a tip-off in future cases.

Brady, who had flown in space once 10 years earlier, was a Navy captain and flight surgeon who left NASA in 2002.

The e-mails, which included no medical details and were heavily blacked out, were obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

In one dated Nov. 8, 2006, a NASA or contractor employee whose name is blacked out wrote about being instructed to look into Brady's death "in order to take from it any lessons learned in the hope that such an event might be prevented from ever occurring again."

The e-mail writer went on to suggest an hourlong meeting with officials to discuss the matter. "There is no rush, of course," the e-mail stated. "This can wait until early JAN if needed as I know you are very busy with STS 116."

"STS-116" was the shuttle mission that flew in December 2006. Its pilot was William Oefelein, who was part of the love triangle that brought down fellow astronaut Lisa Nowak in February.

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