NASA Contractor Sabotages ISS-bound Computer

Fr. Dougal

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http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/26/nasa-employee-caught-in-act-of-sabotage-on-iss-bound-computer/

NASA worker caught in act of sabotage on ISS bound computer

Posted Jul 26th 2007 5:33PM by Joshua Topolsky
Filed under: Transportation

According to breaking news from NASA, a space program worker is alleged to have deliberately damaged a computer that was meant to fly aboard the Endeavor in less than two weeks, in an apparent act of sabotage. NASA says the unnamed individual, who works for one of the space agency's subcontractors, cut wires inside a computer that was headed to the International Space Station (ISS) on the shuttle. The alleged tampering occurred outside of NASA operations in Florida, but the agency isn't naming the subcontractor or where exactly the incident took place. The agency hopes to fix the damage and launch the Endeavor August 7th, as planned. As this appears to be the first ever report of sabotage on the space program, you can expect to hear a lot more on this story in the very near future.

[Via TheWolfWeb]


And from CNN:
NASA finds apparent sabotage

* Story Highlights
* NASA reports apparent sabotage after computer found with wires cut
* Computer supposed to be sent to the international space station in two weeks
* NASA hopes to repair computer in time for August 7 launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) -- The U.S. space agency NASA on Thursday confirmed it had discovered the apparent sabotage of a noncritical component of the international space station due to be carried up by the space shuttle Endeavour. It launched an investigation after finding cut wires in a piece of computer equipment intended to transfer data from station sensors to the ground, the agency said.

NASA said it will try to launch Endeavour on August 7 for the spacecraft's first mission in nearly five years.

Endeavour, fresh from a complete overhaul and the last of NASA's three remaining shuttles to return to flight following the 2003 Columbia disaster, is due to carry out a construction mission to the $100-billion space station.

It will be NASA's second shuttle flight of the year.

Endeavour was almost totally rebuilt during its overhaul and was like a new space shuttle, shuttle program manager Wayne Hale told reporters at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the launch will take place.

"It's like driving a new car off the showroom floor," Hale said.

Endeavour's seven crew members include teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, who trained 22 years ago as the backup to teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe, one of the astronauts who died when Challenger blew up at liftoff in January 1986.

Endeavour will be carrying a new support beam for the half-finished space station and a replacement gyroscope needed to help the outpost maintain its position in space.

Among the shuttle's upgrades is a new system that will enable the spacecraft to tap into the station's electrical system and stay longer at the outpost.

If the power transfer system works properly, NASA plans to extend Endeavour's mission from 11 to 14 days. That will allow time for the crew to finish extra work preparing the orbital outpost for the arrival later this year and next year of laboratories built by Europe and Japan.

It also will carry a module loaded with about 5,000 pounds of equipment and supplies for the station crew.

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/26/nasa.computers.reut/index.html
 

Fr. Dougal

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Oh... and then there's this:

Report: Drunk astronauts allowed on shuttle

* Story Highlights
* NEW: NASA official confirms a health report contains claims of alcohol use
* Says information is based on anonymous interviews and is unsubstantiated
* Intoxicated astronauts reportedly allowed to fly at least twice
* Aviation Week & Space Technology reported the findings

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP)-- Astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk on at least two occasions, an aviation weekly reported Thursday.

It cited a special panel studying astronaut health, which found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch that was within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology. It reported the finding on its Web site.

A NASA official confirmed the health report contains claims of alcohol use by astronauts before launch, but said the information is based on anonymous interviews and is unsubstantiated. The official didn't want to be named because NASA plans a news conference Friday to discuss the panel's findings.

The panel was created following the arrest in February of former space shuttle flier Lisa Nowak, who was implicated in a love triangle.

NASA's space operations chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, said Thursday it would be inappropriate for him to discuss the matter before the report is released on Friday.

Asked if he had ever personally had to deal with a safety issue involving an inebriated astronaut in space, Gerstenmaier replied: "The obvious answer is no. I've never had any instances of that."

"There's not been a disciplinary action or anything I've been involved with regarding this type of activity," he said.

In Washington, the chairman of the House Science and Technology committee said he hadn't seen the report, "but if the reports of drunken astronauts being allowed to fly prove to be true, I think the agency will have a lot of explaining to do."

"That's not the 'right stuff' as far as I'm concerned," said Bart Gordon, D-Tennessee.

The Aviation Week report doesn't make clear when the alleged incidents occurred, nor does it say whether the intoxication involved crew members who have no role in flying the shuttle or whether it was the pilot and commander.

NASA plans to release findings of a pair of reviews -- one by the outside committee and the other by an internal panel -- into astronauts' health Friday.

The independent panel's NASA consultant and its eight members, which include Air Force experts in aerospace medicine and clinical psychiatry, did not immediately return phone messages or e-mails from the Associated Press Thursday afternoon.

Aviation Week said the report citing drunkenness does not deal directly with Nowak or mention any other astronaut by name.

Nowak is accused of attacking the girlfriend of a fellow astronaut -- her romantic rival -- with pepper spray in a parking lot at Orlando International Airport. Fired by NASA in March, she has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/07/26/astronaut.drinking.ap/index.html
 
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