Bob Jacobs/Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington, DC
July 3, 2000

(Phone: 202/358-1600)

Ed Campion/Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

RELEASE: 00-102

News reports that a computer hacker endangered the lives of Space Shuttle
astronauts during a 1997 mission are wrong. A report from the British
Corporation (BBC) said a hacker compromised NASA computers, endangering the
lives of
American astronauts.

NASA’s Inspector General’s office found that during the STS-86 mission in
September of 1997, the transmission of routine medical information was slightly
due to a computer hacker. However, the transmission was successfully completed.

At no time was communication between NASA and the astronauts compromised.
The communication interruption occurred between internal ground-based computer

There has never been an interruption of communication service with the
Shuttle due
to computer hacker attacks. The command and control communications links between
Mission Control and a Space Shuttle in orbit are extremely well insulated.

The 1997 incident is currently under investigation by NASA Inspector