"It is critical that we are able to trust our industry to produce, test and certify materials in accordance with the standards we require", said Jim Norman, director for Launch Services at NASA Headquarters. "The Taurus T9 mission also concluded in a failure of the payload fairing to separate.The Taurus T8 and T9 missions both reentered earth's atmosphere resulting in break-up and/or burnup of the rocket and satellite, and any surviving pieces would have been dispersed in the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica", the report states. "In this case, our trust was severely violated".
The fraud involved an OR company called Sapa Profiles, which falsified thousands of certifications for aluminium parts over 19 years for hundreds of customers, including NASA.
"Corporate and personal greed perpetuated this fraud against the government and other private customers, and this resolution holds these companies accountable for the harm caused by their scheme", said Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney general of the criminal division at the Department of Justice, in an April 23 statement. Again, the payload failed to properly separate from the rocket, and it was a total loss.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) in 2009 and the Glory mission in 2011, which were meant to launch observational satellites, both failed at launch and were unable to reach orbit.More news: Facebook and Instagram ban Alex Jones and other far-right extremists
A frangible joint is a structural separation system that is initiated using ordnance.
NASA's investigation has confirmed that this frangible joint was the problem. They'd then provide clients, including government contractors, with falsified certifications. NASA says the company and other related business have been banned from government contracts.
NASA notes that it relies on the integrity of the industry in its supply chain pointing out that it can't perform its own testing on every single component and requires and pays for some parts to be certified through the manufacturer.
Sapa, which has since changed its name to Hydro Extrusion Portland, agreed to pay $46 million to the USA government and other commercial customers - which doesn't even come close to the $700 million NASA lost as a result of Taurus XL failures.More news: Chelsea reveal new Stamford Bridge-inspired new kit for 2019-20
This week, NASA revealed why the two missions failed, and the results of the investigation are worrying to say the least.
NASA has announced that fraudulent, poor-quality aluminium sold to the space agency resulted in the failure of two major satellite missions and amounted to a $US700 million ($AU 1 billion) loss..
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