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Astronaut might have committed the first crime in Space

by on26 August 2019

Well the first human one

Astronaut Anne McClain might have been the first human to commit a crime in space.

McClain was in a bitter break up with her partner Summer Worden. Worden was surprised when she noticed that her estranged spouse still seemed to know things about her spending and did some digging.

She discovered her account was being entered from a computer network registered to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

At the time McClain was on a six-month mission at the International Space Station and was about to be part of NASA’s first all-female spacewalk.

McClain acknowledged that she had accessed the bank account from space, insisting through a lawyer that she was merely shepherding the couple’s finances. Worden felt differently.

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

The five space agencies involved in the space station — from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada — have long-established procedures to handle any jurisdictional questions that arise when astronauts of various nations are orbiting Earth together.

Mark Sundahl, director of the Global Space Law Center at Cleveland State University, said he was not aware of any previous allegation of a crime committed in space.

McClain, now back on Earth, submitted to an under-oath interview with the inspector general last week. She contends that she was merely doing what she had always done, with Worden’s permission, to make sure the family’s finances were in order.

Her brief said she strenuously denies that she did anything improper and was cooperating with the investigation.


Last modified on 26 August 2019
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