NASA is investigating what could be the first crime committed from space

Astronaut Anne McClain seen as the Soyuz MS-11 descent capsule carrying the ISS Expedition 58/59 crew members lands near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Source: TASS

Astronaut Anne McClain could be facing identity theft charges after accessing a bank account that wasn’t hers while onboard the ISS.

NASA officials have confirmed that they are looking into the claim that one of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station committed a crime while floating high above the earth.

First reported by The New York Times, astronaut Anne McClain has admitted that she accessed her estranged wife’s bank account while on a six-month mission on the ISS.

McClain’s spouse, former Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden, submitted a claim to the US Federal Trade Commission that McClain had committed identity theft.

She also brought a complaint to NASA's Office of Inspector General that McClain had accessed her private financial records in a "highly calculated and manipulative campaign" to gain custody of Worden’s son.

While McClain has admitted to accessing the bank account she reports to have done so to ensure the wellbeing of Worden’s son and using the same password she had access to the entire relationship.

McClain's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told the Times that "she strenuously denies that she did anything improper" and "is totally cooperating."

The potentially criminal activity happened while McClain was in preparation for NASA’s all female spacewalk, which was cancelled earlier in the year due to insufficient equipment. 

NASA spokeswoman Megan Sumner told the Times that Worden’s claims were not a deciding factor in the organisation cancelling the spacewalk.

Worden and McClain were married in 2014 and split in 2018, following an accusation of assault from McClain. Worden maintains the accusation was inline with an effort to gain custody of her son.

Worden denied any wrongdoing and the case was dropped several months later.

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