NASA is reportedly probing the case of an astronaut who was accused of accessing her estranged wife’s bank account while on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
Veteran astronaut and US Army lieutenant colonel Anne McClain was accused of improperly gaining access to Summer Worden’s bank account on NASA computers while she was in space, according to The New York Times.
Worden, a former Air Force intelligence officer, became suspicious when McClain had mentioned specific purchases while fighting with her estranged spouse, the Times reported. Upon her request, her bank reportedly confirmed that her account had been accessed with credentials entered on a computer network registered to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Worden then brought a complaint against McClain with the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that McClain had committed identity theft, even though none of Worden’s funds had been tampered with, according to the Times. McClain defended her access of the accounts as part of her due diligence in monitoring their entangled finances.
Worden’s parents said in a separate complaint that McClain accessed the bank account as part of a “highly calculated and manipulated campaign” to obtain custody of Worden’s son, who was born about a year before the couple got married.
However, the Times reported that McClain claimed that she was never prevented from accessing the account, as she was using the same password she used during their relationship and she was never told to stop accessing the account.
McClain and Worden married in 2014, with Worden filing for divorce in 2018 after McClain accused her of assault, a claim which Worden denies and said was part of McClain’s efforts at gaining custody of her son, the Times reports, noting that the assault case was eventually dismissed.
Worden told the Times that the FTC had not yet responded to her identity theft complaint, but investigators were accessing her family’s complaint to NASA.
McClain previously made headlines for plans to include her in an all-female spacewalk, which was abruptly scrapped as the agency said there were not enough suits available in the two women’s size.
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