Could cosmic rays be what's causing the mysterious accelerator problems in Toyota cars? Maybe. That's one of the reasons why a NASA engineering team has been called in to assist in a federal investigation.
The team - drawn from the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, or NESC - serves as the space agency's rapid-response unit for engineering expertise. It was set up in the wake of the 2003 Columbia tragedy, in response to investigators' concerns that NASA didn't have an independent safety watchdog.