The BBC's Alan Grady
   "A catalogue of high profile accidents"

   Monday, 3 July, 2000, 01:44 GMT 02:44 UK Hacker risked astronauts lives'
   Communication was routed through the Mir

   The lives of space shuttle astronauts were put at risk by a computer
   hacker who overloaded Nasa's communication system in 1997, the space
   agency has told the BBC.
   It shows the potential that hackers have for doing some real damage to
   Nasa's mission and astronaut safety

[This shows the potential that NASA administrators have for doing real
damage, by allowing external attacks to affect mission/life critical
resources. Under no circumstances, for any reason should an attacker be
able to access such computers. To have them networked with anything other
than what is needed to perform the task is ludicrous.]

   In the past year alone, the space agency has experienced more than
   500,000 cyber attacks.

[Wow, the DOD only had 250k! *smirk* This is the first time
we have seen this figure, and of course, no reference for it.]
   When asked if this was a critical moment, Gross replied: "Well, Nasa
   has a lot of fail-safes and it makes sure that there's not just one
   way of communicating, so the transmission ultimately went
   through...but it shows the potential that hackers have for doing some
   real damage to Nasa's mission and astronaut safety."

[Blame hackers, not the MORONS that allowed a man's life to hang in the
balance of pathetic security measures?]

A NASA employee followed up on this piece:

        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 delayed 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 systems. 

        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 General's office.