In an (off) world first, NASA is investigating a crime committed on the International Space Station. It’s not nearly as cool as it sounds, or should be. Sorry.
Space: the final frontier…of crime?
In what is surely an (off)world first, NASA is investigating its first crime in orbit. However, this is not the crime that sci-fi promised us, be it the illegal non-retirement of a replicant, or the smuggling of an alien egg through an installation of substantial dollar value, it’s plain old white collar crime.
Anne McClain, the defendant in this case, is a decorated NASA astronaut. She is accused by her ex-wife, Summer Worden, of identity theft. One that purportedly happened while McClain was aboard the International Space Station. Real cases, real people, real stupid location.
According to Quartz, “Worden filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Her family lodged a similar claim with NASA’s Inspector General’s Office, and now investigators are trying to get to the bottom of this novel situation, the New York Times reports. McClain’s accusers say that she improperly accessed Worden’s bank accounts while aboard the International Space Station, using NASA technology to meddle with her ex’s finances on Earth. The astronaut acknowledges accessing the account but denies any wrongdoing.”
Fraud. In. Space!
According to McClain, she was managing the couple’s finances as per usual, to ensure that sufficient funds existed to pay for bills and keep their child alive. Again, per Quartz, “No funds were moved from the account or used in any way. McClain was interviewed under oath by NASA Inspector General investigators this month and is reportedly cooperating.”
Which is frankly terrifying. One would imagine that you become an astronaut to blast free of the pettiness of Earth and look back down on that watery orb and wax lyrical about the beauty, and the meaningless of the individual. In the words of Apollo’s James B. Irwin, “As we got further and further away, it diminished in size. Finally, it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man.”
Shamefully, it seems that even your hated daily minutiae can chase you into the great blue yonder. What next? Telemarketers interrupting your spacewalk? The overzealous administrator at the school, asking for long-outdated sick notes? In space, no-one can hear you scream, but you certainly can be reached, and we’re certainly not alone.
What a fucking bummer.
The same goes for McClain, as after the complaint was raised by Worden, she learned that she would not be included in NASA’s planned all-female spacewalk. However, NASA claimed that it wasn’t because of the allegations raised against her, rather it was that NASA only packed one suit for two female astronauts, which is far worse. How were you supposed to do the spacewalk with one suit, NASA? Pick the better lie. Jesus.
Nevertheless, this case serves as a tasty entree, as surely such low-rent litigious matters can only be handled by one force of plain justice, Judge Judith Sheindlin. Who wouldn’t want to see her rule over the ISS with her earthy charms?