NASA astronaut Anne McClain’s estranged wife has been charged with lying about a “space crime” that she alleged McClain committed. In August 2019, the New York Times reported that amid their separation, Summer Worden [photo] complained that McClain had allegedly accessed Worden’s bank account from the International Space Station.
The accusation immediately generated a tremendous amount of media attention as, if it were true, it would be the first known “space crime” and, by taking their story to the media, Worden “outed” McClain, forcing her to become the first publicly out active astronaut (while Sally Ride was the first-ever publicly out astronaut, her sexual orientation was only revealed after she passed away in 2012.)
However, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick from the United State’s Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas, Worden has been charged with lying about the alleged offense.
USA Today reports:
The indictment, returned in February but unsealed this week, alleges that Ms. Worden opened the bank account earlier than she had told investigators, and that she had not changed her login credentials until months later than she had claimed.
Both women have decorated pasts. Ms. Worden is a former Air Force intelligence officer. Ms. McClain is a West Point graduate who became a commissioned Army officer and flew more than 800 combat hours in the Iraq war before joining NASA in 2013.
Ms. McClain remains a lieutenant colonel in the Army and could be in line to be the first woman to walk on the moon. The indictment, unsealed in Texas, charges Ms. Worden with two counts of making false statements to NASA’s Office of Inspector General and to the Federal Trade Commission.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) April 7, 2020
A bitter separation involving an astronaut represented an unprecedented allegation of a crime in space, which experts say could become less unusual as living and working in space becomes more routine https://t.co/Nn9V7pMMdi
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 7, 2020