A former senior NASA manager pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography from his government and home computers, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

James R. Robinson, of Sterling, Va., faces five to 20 years in prison after he admitted in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., that he sent digital movies of children engaging in sexual acts with adults to three different undercover U.S. Postal Inspectors in March 2005.

He used his personal Yahoo e-mail account and the name Jim Saron to distribute the movies, said Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. Attorney in Alexandria.

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In his NASA job, Robinson ran programs on robotic probes sent around the solar system.

Investigators searched Robinson's office at NASA headquarters and seized computer equipment in March. It was not clear whether he resigned from the space agency or was fired.

NASA officials did not return telephone calls Tuesday from The Associated Press.

Robinson entered his guilty plea at a court hearing Monday. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 13 before U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

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