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Loony Astronaut's Meth-a-morphosis?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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CRYSTAL CLEAR? Nowak, then and now The Internet hive mind is abuzz over a potential explanation for the exceedingly bizarre behavior of astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak: crystal meth. In light of NASA's stringent psychological screening process, some are speculating the drug might explain her lightspeed journey from over-achieving suburban mom to gaunt-faced, diaper-wearing, cross-country stalker. (The ravages of meth on the mind and body are well-documented. Click here for a particularly gruesome before-and-after gallery.)

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"Meth would explain the sheer, maniacal determination the lady astronaut displayed," Dan Savage notes on The Stranger's blog. It would also explain "the weight loss, thinner hair, and papery skin" visible in before-and-after photos. (Similar points are made here and here.)

A call to NASA's presumably overworked press office produced no response, so Radar turned to an expert: Richard A. Rawson, associate director of UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse Program.

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