She said that Mike Griffin, a Nasa administrator, had told Michael Coats, the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston where Nowak works, to "initiate a review of existing psychological screening for  admittance into the astronaut corps".

The review will look at how astronauts are screened for psychological problems and whether Nowak showed any problems in her dealings with other astronauts. Some recommendations could be issued as early as June.

Dale stressed that: "All astronauts are subjected to extensive medical and psychological testing in order to be admitted to the astronaut corps."

Nowak was arrested on Monday in Florida on attempted kidnapping and battery charges after police said she drove more than 1,500km from Texas to Florida to attack her presumed love rival, Colleen Shipman, an air force captain, at Orlando airport.