CAPE CANAVERAL, NOV. 4 -- A small amount of cocaine was found under a desk in the giant space shuttle hangar, prompting a narcotics investigation at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA said today.

A team of investigators at the sprawling space complex began a probe after the drug was found Friday, the latest in a series of incidents to mar the U.S. space program.

In the past year and a half, dangerous hydrogen fuel leaks have grounded two of the three U.S. shuttles and costly and embarrassing technical blunders have caused damage to all three shuttles.

The narcotics investigation is being conducted by officers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lockheed Space Operations Co. and EG&G Florida Inc. Lockheed holds the multibillion-dollar space shuttle flight processing contract and EG&G is responsible for security at the space center.

NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone said a "very small amount" of cocaine was discovered beneath a desk in the shuttle assembly building. Officials had not identified who may have dropped the illegal drug and said no arrests had been made.

Malone said it was the first time cocaine has been found in the facility and said NASA considers it an isolated incident.