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Shuttle Endeavour  (Source: NASA)
Suspected sabotage adds to the drama surrounding the launch preparations for shuttle Endeavour

NASA today confirmed that at least one space program worker intentionally tried to sabotage a computer which will be flown to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the shuttle Endeavour.  The employee of an unidentified NASA subcontractor allegedly cut wires inside of a data relay box that will be added to the space station's Destiny laboratory.  

"It was disclosed to us as soon as the event occurred, about a week and a half ago," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations.  "The damage is very obvious, easy to detect.  It's not a mystery to us," he added.

The data box is used for the "collection of structural performance data on the space station's backbone-like main truss," with the collected data later sent back to Earth.  The damage done wouldn't have posed a risk to the astronauts or ISS, even if it was installed in its current state.

Motive for the contractor's actions remain unknown, as the NASA Inspector General Office continues to investigate the attempted sabotage.  Authorities also declined to identify where the sabotage took place, though NASA confirmed it did not take place in Florida.

"It will be repaired and it will fly on this flight," Gerstenmaier said.

NASA expects to be able to launch shuttle Endeavour on August 7, the previously set launch date.




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