The sternly guarded private life of a NASA astronaut surfaced on Friday (August 24) in a New York Times report in a chaotic divorce battle with American astronaut Anne McClain, who has apparently led to allegations of identity theft against the spacecraft.
The incident is due to a bitter separation with McClain's spouse Summer Worden, the Times report continues. According to Worden, her bank account was accessed by a NASA-affiliated computer network without her permission, causing her to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. A family member also filed a complaint with the NASA internal office of the Inspector General.
Prior to the split, McClain had helped pull Worden's little son out of a previous relationship. That role involved providing financial support, the New York Times report said, and her lawyer said she'd accessed the bank account for that purpose, not knowing Worden had asked her not to ,
Related: The Space Walks of Expedition 59 in Pictures
McClain and Worden had previously argued about the child, the New York Times report continued. McClain wanted to adopt him after the couple's wedding in 201
According to The New York Times, McClain accused Worden of assault, refusal, and divorce from Worden; the case was dismissed. The divorce continues, but according to McClain's statement on NASA's internal investigation, the couple's finances are not yet separated, resulting in bank account confusion.
McClain only gave the Times comments on her lawyer Rusty Hardin; NASA declined to comment on the incident to the Times.
The Times added that these events took place around the much-praised space walk on March 29, which McClain was to perform with NASA colleague Christina Koch, who would have been the first -female space walk in history.
This spacewalk was reassigned, replacing NASA astronaut Nick Hague McClain. NASA said at the time that the decision was McClain's choice, as she noticed on her first spacewalk that a medium-sized space suit was best for her. It was already planned that Koch would carry the only prepared middle upper body on the station.
McClain was not public in official NASA communications, although some gay media have followed their careers and identified them as lesbians. She is now – albeit involuntarily – the first publicly retired astronaut. (19459007) Sally Ride who became the first American in space in 1983, was a lesbian, but this fact was not disclosed by her spouse until after her death.)
Space.com has contact with NASA headquarters for comment.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Sally RidRide was named the first woman in space. She was the first American in space. The cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly in space.