Nasa is reported to be investigating a claim that an astronaut accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse from the International Space Station, in what may be the first allegation of a crime committed in space.Anne McClain acknowledges accessing the account from the ISS but denies any wrongdoing, the New York Times reports, reports BBC.
Her estranged spouse, Summer Worden, reportedly filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Ms McClain has since returned to Earth.
The astronaut told the New York Times through a lawyer that she was merely making sure that the family's finances were in order and there was enough money to pay bills and care for Ms Worden's son - who they had been raising together prior to the split.
"She strenuously denies that she did anything improper," said her lawyer, Rusty Hardin, adding that Ms McClain was "totally co-operating".
Ms McClain and Ms Worden, who is an Air Force intelligence officer, married in 2014 and Ms Worden filed for divorce in 2018. Investigators from Nasa's Office of Inspector General have contacted both over the allegation, the New York Times reported.Ms McClain graduated from the prestigious West Point military academy and flew more than 800 combat hours over Iraq as an Army pilot. She went on to qualify as a test pilot and was chosen to fly for Nasa in 2013.
She spent six months aboard the ISS and had been due to feature in the first all-female spacewalk, but her role was cancelled at the last minute over what Nasa said was a problem with availability of correct suit sizes.