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Could this be the first crime committed in space?

By Elizabeth Rayne
NASA astronaut Anne McClain

There have been so many firsts in space this summer—the first cookies baked in space, the first bubbles in space, the first sliming of the ISS, possibly the first crime committed in space—wait. Something isn’t right here.

Astronaut Anne McClain was supposed to be one half of the first all-female spacewalk until there was a shortage of spacesuits. According to The New York Times, she is now being accused of identity theft by estranged spouse Summer Worden. This might have to do with the heated divorce battle they have been fighting for the past year. When Worden noticed that her bank account was being logged into from another device, the former Air Force intelligence officer traced the computer to NASA.

McClain, who was still aboard the ISS at the time, claimed that she was just logging in to the couple’s joint bank account from space to check on their finances, and that Worden had never given her any mention of the account suddenly being off limits.

Don’t call identity theft just yet. The couple’s finances haven’t been sorted out yet, and McClain insisted that she just wanted to be sure Worden and her 4-year-old son were financially stable back on Earth. Worden’s point of view is the complete opposite. Not only did she file a complaint with the FTC, but her family also filed accusations of identity theft and improper access to private financial records with NASA’s Office of the Inspector General. That’s kind of a huge deal.

“She strenuously denies that she did anything improper” and “is totally cooperating,” McClain’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told The New York Times of the astronaut.

NASA officials denied knowing of any crime having been committed, but something illegal happening in space doesn’t automatically make it vanish. For now, astronauts on the ISS are subject to the laws of the country they are from. The law may have to adjust as we enter an era where more and more things are going to be happening off-Earth.

(via The New York Times)