NASA is examining a claim that an astronaut improperly accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse from the International Space Station, potentially the first criminal allegation from space.
Astronaut Anne McClain is accused of identity theft and improperly accessing her estranged wife’s private financial records while on a sixth-month mission aboard the International Space Station
Her estranged spouse, Summer Worden, former Air Force intelligence officer, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Ms McClain has since returned to Earth. 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,
Ms McClain and Ms Worden, who is an Air Force intelligence officer, married in 2014 and Ms Worden filed for divorce in 2018. Investigators from Nasa’s Office of Inspector General have contacted both over the allegation.
McClain, who returned to Earth in June, gained fame for being one of two women picked for a historic all-female spacewalk, but NASA scrapped the planned walk in March due to lack of well-fitting spacesuits.
NASA spokeswoman Megan Sumner said that the allegations facing McClain were not a factor in the decision to ultimately cancel the spacewalk.