NASA is said to be investigating a claim that one of its astronauts accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse while on board the International Space Station, in what may be the first crime committed in space.
Astronaut Anne McClain and Summer Worden, an Air Force intelligence officer, married in 2014 and split in 2018, when Ms. Worden filed for divorce. The pair have been involved in a custody battle over Worden’s young son for the past year, but things got even more complicated recently after Worden accused her ex-spouse of illegally accessing her bank account from aboard the ISS. McCain admitted logging into the bank account from outer space, but denied any wrong-doing, claiming that she was just keeping an eye on the family finances to make sure their son was well taken care of.
Ms. Worden says she became suspicious after noticing that her ex-partner knew details about her spending, and when she asked her bank about the locations from where her account had been accessed, she learned that one of the computer networks used was registered to NASA. The woman then filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleging improper access of private financial records and identity theft.
“There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims,” Anne McClain wrote on Twitter. “We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media.”
On the other hand, Summer Worden told KPRC that she was appalled by her ex-spouse’s audacity and her own inability to keep anything private.
“I was shocked and appalled at the audacity by her to think that she could get away with that, and I was very disheartened that I couldn’t keep anything private,” Worden said.
NASA’s Office of Inspector General has reportedly been looking into allegations against McClain, which if proven true, would most likely constitute the first crime committed in space. The agency told the New York Times that they were not aware of any previous such crimes.