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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hacker Jeopardized Shuttle Astronauts

LONDON -- A computer hacker overloaded NASA's communication system in 1997 endangering shuttle astronauts, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

As the shuttle docked at the Mir space station, a hacker tapped into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration computer system, which monitored the heartbeat, pulse and medical condition of astronauts.

"We had an activity at NASA center where a hacker was overloading our system ... to such an extent that it interfered with communications between the NASA center, some medical communications and the astronaut aboard the shuttle,'' said Roberta Gross, inspector general at NASA, in a BBC documentary program to be aired Monday.

NASA was forced to switch systems and talk to the astronauts via Mir.

Gross said NASA has numerous fail safe measures to ensure communications, "but it shows the potential hackers have for doing some real damage to NASA's mission and astronaut safety.''