Tiny 'Tin Whiskers' Imperil Electronics

October 5, 2007 By JORDAN ROBERTSON, AP Technology Writer
Tiny 'Tin Whiskers' Imperil Electronics (AP)
Henning Leidecker, a chief parts engineer with NASA Goddard, looks at an electrical relay that has grown tin whiskers in Greenbelt, MD on Friday, Sept. 28, 2007. Tin Whiskers are tiny tin strands that sprout without warning from tin finish or solder, short-circuiting electronics. By some estimates, they've caused as much as $10 billion in damage since they were first noticed in the 1940s. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP) -- They've ruined missiles, silenced communications satellites and forced nuclear power plants to shut down. Pacemakers, consumer gadgets and even a critical part of a space shuttle have fallen victim.

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