Y2K won't derail space station

The U.S. government's work with Russia to build the International SpaceStation suffered no apparent unraveling today as Russian computer systemsentered the Year 2000.

At 4:30 p.m. EST, only half an hour after Moscow's computer clocks struckmidnight and rolled over into the new year, NASA officials issued abulletin identifying "no Y2K problems in Moscow that would affect NASAsystems or the International Space Station."

NASA workers monitoring the agency's computer systems and centers meanwhilereported conditions in the United States as "green," or fully functional.

Russia's readiness for the Year 2000 has been in question during recentmonths. For example, in August a Pentagon message from the Defense AttacheOffice in the U.S. Embassy disclosed that the Russian Ministry of Defensehad decided to bypass "due to time constraints" the laborious systemcertification process that requires programmers to examine every line ofcode to determine whether it contains Year 2000bugs.

And on Capitol Hill in September, some observers believed that informationon Russia indicated that the nation was at risk for some of the mostserious problems associated with the Year 2000, such as electrical andother utility outages and failures in the transportation and financialsectors.

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