Late Night Open Thread: Space Crime!

Good quip, but of course it’s not really about money. Where there are primates, there are sexual relationships; and where there are sexual relationships, there are messy breakups, with the related financial complications. This is certainly not the first relationship to be broken by the rigors of astronautical travel, and I personally suspect it’s not even the first one involving accusations of related financial impropriety:

Astronaut Anne McClain is accused of identity theft and improperly accessing her estranged wife’s private financial records while on a sixth-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Times said.

The astronaut’s spouse Summer Worden filed a complaint earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission after learning McClain had accessed her bank account without permission, while Worden’s family filed another with NASA’s Office of Inspector General, according to the newspaper.

McClain’s lawyer said the astronaut had done nothing wrong and accessed the bank records while aboard the ISS in order to monitor the couple’s combined finances — something she had done over the course of their relationship, the Times reported…

McClain, who returned to Earth in June, gained fame for being one of two women picked for a historic all-female spacewalk, but NASA scrapped the planned walk in March due to a lack of well-fitting spacesuits, sparking accusations of sexism…

Of course, IMO the Musk / Bezos et al rocketeering isn’t really about finance, either: Those guys are the tech-advantaged version of Jane Goodall’s Gombe Mike, the chimp who discovered he could compensate for his relatively puny physique by banging around empty oil drums to make a REALLY BIG NOISE…

13 replies
  1. 1
    Chetan Murthy says:

    I feel compelled to note that we’ve come a long way as a nation, when certain aspects of this case are simply unnecessary to recount, b/c too banal. Love it!

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    I hope that Anne McClain doesn’t try to make a run for it. Trump will want to send Space Force after her.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    I predict there will be an exciting action escapade involving Anne McClain’s uncle John.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    Seriously, this is just crime on a personal level. The real excitement will come with organised crime in space: when there’s enough legit business going on out there for the mob to decide it wants a taste.

  5. 5
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Amir Khalid: Star Trek already thought of that in “A Piece of the Action” (Air date: January 12, 1968)

  6. 6
    sukabi says:

    @Amir Khalid: the real / first crime comes prior to the actual launch into space — the padding / inflating the costs to build and prepare for the trips. You know there’s money to be bilked, or they wouldn’t do it.

  7. 7
    montanareddog says:

    May be of interest to Adam and a couple of other jackals: I see from Anne McClain’s Wikipedia page that she was a top-level Rugby player, too.

  8. 8
    Matt McIrvin says:

    It reminds me of the way early cyberpunk fiction portrayed computer crime as this exciting futuristic thriller action among a sort of romanticized demimonde in a video game-like environment, rather than just a mundane pain in the ass perpetrated by gross people.

    I remember reading one story in which criminals get revenge against a guy by putting his face in what we’d call deepfake porn. That was the whole story. These things come true and they stop being all that interesting.

  9. 9
    David Evans says:

    Those guys are the tech-advantaged version….

    The next time an asteroid is on course to actually hit us we may be very grateful that someone wanted to develop really big rockets, irrespective of their alleged motives.

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    Hmm, chopper pilots can be astronauts.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    A new movie coming out, “Lucy In The Sky” starring Natalie Portman:

    An astronaut returns to Earth after a lengthy mission and begins an affair with a fellow astronaut. She heads into a downward spiral as she loses her connection to her family, and when her lover begins another affair with an astronaut trainee, the bottom drops out.

    The film is loosely based on astronaut Lisa Nowak’s criminal activities around her romantic involvement with fellow astronaut William Oefelein.

  12. 12
    different-church-lady says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I keep saying: society today is like a bunch of clever found a stash of dystopian sci-fi novels from the 50s and said, “Yeah, let’s totally do that!

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    @David Evans: Plus we can use the rockets to deflect hurricanes!

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