NASA: Hack didn't endanger astronauts

NASA rebutted news reports this week that a computer hacker disrupted communications

and endangered the lives of space shuttle astronauts during a 1997 mission.

The space agency denied the British Broadcasting Corp.'s report that

a hacker tapped into a NASA computer system that monitors the heartbeat,

pulse and overall medical conditions of astronauts on the shuttle.

The transmission of routine medical information was slightly delayed

due to a computer hacker, but the transmission of data was completed, NASA

said in a statement.

NASA said that communications were not interrupted between ground controllers

and the shuttle, but an interruption did occur between internal ground-based

computer systems.

The NASA inspector general is investigating the incident, which occurred

during the STS-86 mission in September 1997.

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