The space agency wasn't the only client that lost out from this fraudulent activity, but it could be the one that was most damaged by it: NASA used Sapa's parts in the making of Taurus XL, a rocket that was used in two missions in 2009 and 2011.
To blame for this is Sapa Profiles (SPI), the company that supplied such material to NASA and hundreds of other customers. (SPI), an Oregon-based aluminium extrusion manufacturer, and it had been perpetrating its fraud for 19 years.
A little more than a decade ago, on February 24, 2009, a Taurus XL rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying a NASA satellite created to measure carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
"While we do perform our own testing, NASA is not able to retest every single component.When testing results are altered and certifications are provided falsely, missions fail", Norman said. Again, the payload failed to properly separate from the rocket, and it was a total loss.
NASAs updatedpublic summaryof the launch failures, which was published Tuesday, comes after a multiyear technical investigation by LSP and updates the previous public summaries on the Taurus XL launch failures for theOCO and Glory missions. Also, Brian Benczkowski, the assistant attorney general of the criminal division at the Department of Justice, says that only corporate and personal greed can lead to this kind of fraud against private customers and government, and this has to be stopped and punished.
Investigations were conducted into both incidents, putting forward several potential root causes for the fairing failures, including a failure in the frangible joint, a structural separation system that is triggered to open on command using ordnance, like the video below.
From NASA's investigation, it is now known that SPI altered test results and provided false certifications to Orbital Sciences Corporation, the manufacturer of the Taurus XL, regarding the aluminium extrusions used in the payload fairing rail frangible joint.
NASA relies on the integrity of our industry throughout the supply chain.
Sapa Profiles, now known as Hydro Extrusion Portland, also agreed to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and is barred from U.S. federal government contracting.
The exclusion from government contracting has been in effect since September 20, 2015. NASA has suspended SPI from government contracting and proposed SPI for government-wide debarment.