NASA has made a blunder after selling a number of its computers without first removing sensitive information.
The data containing restricted information on the Space Shuttle programme, was found on 14 ex-NASA machines.
NASA internal auditors discovered that ten PCs were sold off without the data being wiped first, whilst another four were due to be sold containing the information.
The problems were discovered at the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers, as well as the Langley and Ames Research Centers.
The space agency is selling off its computer hardware, as the space shuttle programme is gradually being brought to a close.
According to the BBC, the data on the machines was restricted under arm control laws and in many cases tests were not being properly run to ensure the offending information had been removed.
The data could have very easily have been sold on to hackers, who could then use it to access NASA’s computer network.
The space shuttle programme is due to cease in June 2011, when the final launch is due to take place.