NASA is examining the first alleged crime committed in outer space, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Recently, astronaut Anne McClain was accused of identity theft and improperly accessing the bank account of her estranged wife.
McClain’s estranged wife, Summer Worden, accused her of accessing her bank account while on a sixth-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
She filed a complaint earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission that McClain had committed identity theft, despite not seeing any indication of moved or spent funds. Meanwhile, Worden’s family filed another complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General, according to the newspaper.
Worden’s parents said in the complaint that McClain accessed the bank account as part of a “highly calculated and manipulated campaign” to obtain custody of Worden’s son, who was born about a year before the couple got married.
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McClain’s lawyer said the astronaut had done nothing wrong and accessed the bank records while aboard the ISS in order to monitor the couple’s combined finances—something she had done over the course of their relationship, the Times reported.
According to the newspaper, NASA investigators have contacted both women.
McClain tweeted after the story made headlines, saying there was “unequivocally no truth to [Worden’s] claims” and said the incident was part of the “painful, personal separation” the couple was going through.
There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media. I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.— Anne McClain (@AstroAnnimal) August 24, 2019
McClain and Worden married in 2014, with Worden filing for divorce in 2018 after McClain accused her of assault. Worden denied that claim and said was part of McClain’s efforts at gaining custody of her son, the Times reports.
McClain became famous when NASA chose her to be one of two women to do a historic all-female spacewalk. But NASA scrapped the planned walk in March due to a lack of well-fitting spacesuits, sparking accusations of sexism.