NASA astronaut Anne McClain has reportedly committed the first crime outside of Earth.
She has been accused of stealing the identity of her ex-wife, Summer Worde – a former Air Force intelligence officer – while she was on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
Worden told NBC News: “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.”
When McClain was in an under-oath interview with NASA’s inspector general, she “strenuously denied that she did anything improper”, according to her lawyer Rusty Hardin, who said she was “totally cooperating”.
McClain said she accessed her ex-wife’s bank account from space to make sure she had enough money to pay her bills.
Before their separation, McClain helped raise Worden’s young son from a previous relationship. The New York Times reported that McClain accused Worden of assault, which was later denied by Worden and resulted in a messy divorce battle.
On 24 August, NASA officials commented on the matter with the following statement: “Lt Col. Anne McClain has an accomplished military career, flew combat missions in Iraq and is one of NASA’s top astronauts.
“She did a great job on her most recent NASA mission aboard the International Space Station. Like with all NASA employees, NASA does not comment on personal or personnel matters.”
McClain said on Twitter that there’s “unequivocally no truth to these claims.”
“We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media,” she wrote. “I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.”