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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Probe underway over first ever crime committed in space

In a first-of-its-kind charge, McClain’s estranged partner Summer Worden, a former US Air Force intelligence officer, has accused McClain of identity theft and improper access to Worden’s financial accounts.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2019 07:43 IST
Sanya Mathur
Sanya Mathur
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
In this file photo taken on November 14, 2018 NASA astronaut Anne McClain, a member of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 58/59, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts’ Training Centre
In this file photo taken on November 14, 2018 NASA astronaut Anne McClain, a member of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 58/59, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts’ Training Centre (HT FILE)
         

American astronaut Anne McClain was selected to be part of NASA’s much-publicised all-female spacewalk from the International Space Station (ISS) on March 29 along with fellow astronaut Christina Koch.

But the all-female drill was scrapped after it emerged McClain’s space suit was too big in size and the right size wasn’t immediately available.

Subsequently, Koch and McClain alternated the spacewalks, each accompanied by male crew member Tyler ‘Nick’ Hague.

McClain then wrapped up her six-month mission and returned to Earth on June 25.

Two months later, on August 23, a New York Times report has revealed that NASA is now “looking into” McClain over a case of “criminal wrongdoing” in space during her time aboard the ISS.

In a first-of-its-kind charge, McClain’s estranged partner Summer Worden, a former US Air Force intelligence officer, has accused McClain of identity theft and improper access to Worden’s financial accounts, the NYT report says.

McClain and Worden are currently going through a divorce procedure.

In the news report, McClain acknowledged accessing Worden’s bank accounts from the ISS, but denies any wrongdoing. She reportedly argued through her lawyer she was only making sure there was enough funds for Worden to foot the bills for their son.

Worden, the report adds, filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission. Her family, too, has lodged a complaint at the NASA’s Office of Inspector General, calling McClain’s actions “highly calculated and manipulative”.

First Published: Aug 25, 2019 06:22 IST