Feeds

NASA: Space station computer sabotaged

Meddling miscreant snips wire in space member box

High performance access to file storage

NASA officials revealed last night that a computer destined to become part of the International Space Station had been intentionally sabotaged.

Space officials announced that NASA had been alerted to the possible sabotage early last week by an unnamed subcontracting company. An employee of the company had apparently purposefully damaged two machines, one due to fly in space and one not.

When the company discovered the problem with the non-flying machine, it alerted NASA, which had already received the other computer: and this too was found to have been meddled with.

The Associated Press quotes Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA space operations head honcho, as saying that his people would have discovered the problem during pre-flight testing even had they not been informed.

"The damage is very obvious, easy to detect," he told reporters. "It's not a mystery to us."

It appears that wires were physically cut inside the unit, described by NASA as being intended to monitor strain on one of the space station's structural members and downlink the info to ground controllers. Gerstenmaier reportedly expected that the equipment would be repaired and ready to fly aboard the shuttle Endeavour on 7 August.

"I don't want to speculate on motivation," Gerstenmaier said. "There's an active investigation going on and I'd rather let that get handled that way."

He said the sabotage occurred outside Florida, and that NASA had surveyed all parts provided by the company at which the mysterious miscreant worked.

"There's no concern about anything that's on orbit," he told the press.

This latest misfortune joins a long roll of problems at NASA, with recent reports of drunkenness and exotic crimes of passion involving nappies among the astronaut corps, as well as various items being hurled off the space station to fiery destruction - sometimes without paperwork being adequately completed - and a machinists' strike in Florida.

Never a dull moment down at the space agency. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.