Humans May Have Already Committed the First Crime in Space
Humankind is deeply flawed, and we have the let planet we inhabit — Earth — know it all too well. But a certain celebrated NASA astronaut has been airing the human race’s dirty laundry out in space, in what could be the first crime in space ever committed. Anne McClain, who was initially bound to be a part of NASA’s first all-female spacewalk (before NASA famously scrapped her role for a lack of right-fitting spacesuits), accessed her estranged partner’s bank account while in outer space. Her partner, Summer Horden, claims McClain was out of bounds — metaphorically speaking.
Caught in the middle of an ugly parental custody and separation battle, McClain, while on a six-month stint at the International Space Station, found out about a new car her partner, Worden had supposedly bought, the New York Times reports. Curious how McClain learned of the car purchase, Worden asked her bank for a list of locations and computer networks that had used her login and password to access her bank account and found one of them registered to NASA, according to the NYT report. Worden has since registered a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and accused McClain of identity theft and improper access of private records; Worden’s family has registered a complaint with NASA, which is now investigating the incident, the NYT reports.
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McClain, now back from her mission, freely admits to accessing the bank account from space, while her lawyer, Rusty Hardin, says she was well within her limits to do so, NYT reports. He claims McClain used the same password she has always used to stay apprised of the family’s finances and was never made aware she was no longer allowed to check in, according to the NYT. The report adds McClain’s claim that she was simply looking out for Worden’s son, whom she had been raising with Worden, and wanted to make sure there was enough money for the child’s needs.
Regardless of whether the first crime in space is resolved by NASA, it’s clear petty human squabbles, a routine on Earth, will eventually extend to space, as innovations in science make it possible for humans to conduct more frequent extraterrestrial visits. “The more we go out there and spend time out there, all the things we do here are going to happen in space,” Mark Sundahl, Director of Global Space Law Center at Cleveland State University, told the NYT.