Decorated NASA astronaut accused of committing the first ever crime in space

NASA is looking into allegations one of its astronauts committed identity theft while aboard the International Space Station, The New York Times reports.

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 the inspector general's office have since contacted both women about what is believed to be the first alleged incident of criminality in space.

Summer Worden and Anne McClain were in the midst of a bitter divorce when Worden noticed McClain had accessed her bank account. The case was later dismissed, and Worden has maintained that the charges are not true and are part of McClain's efforts to get an edge in the parenting dispute, according to the Times.

As a result Ms Worden filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and her family lodged one with NASA's Office of Inspector General, accusing Ms. McClain of identity theft and improper access to Ms. Worden's private financial records.

However, McClain apparently claimed that she was just doing something she had always done while she and Worden were still a couple - checking in on Worden's finances to make sure that there was enough money to support Worden's child, who they had been raising together. After the couple Wednesday in 2014, she refused McClain's request to adopt the child.

Worden approached her bank and asked for the locations of computers that had recently accessed her bank account.

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Anne McClain acknowledged she accessed the account while she was onboard the ISS but has denied any wrongdoing.

"She strenuously denies that she did anything improper", her lawyer Rusty Hardin said.

Ms McClain started flying for Nasa in 2013 following more than 800 combat hours over Iraq as an army pilot. Worden filed for divorce in 2018 after McClain accused her of assault.

She was scheduled to perform a second extravehicular activity on 29 March with Christina Koch, which would have been the first all-female spacewalk but spacesuit sizing issues resulted in this EVA being cancelled.

US, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada who own the space station have an agreed respective legal framework that would apply to people and possessions in space.

However, NASA officials claimed that any previous crimes committed in the space were unheard of.

  • Douglas Reid