Nasa was sold faulty rocket parts that caused two satellite launch missions to fail, causing more than $700 million in losses and years of lost work, an investigation by the United States space agency concluded.
NASA alerted the Department of Justice to its findings. a press release from the department says that SPI's parent company Norsk Hydro ASA has agreed to pay $46 million to NASA, the Department of Defense, and other entities to "resolve criminal charges and civil claims relating to a 19-year fraud scheme that included falsifying thousands of certifications for aluminum extrusions provided to hundreds of customers". NASA was just one of the clients. Unfortunately, the rocket's fairing failed to open and the launch failed.
Sapa Profiles, now known as Hydro Extrusion Portland, also agreed to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and is barred from United States federal government contracting. That frangible joint is a structural separation system that is initiated using ordinance. The company's statement runs: "Specifically, we have learned that some test results for mechanical properties - ultimate tensile strength, yield strength and elongation - have been altered to change failing test results to passing test results between 1996 and 2015". As a result of the extra weight, the Taurus rocket failed to reach orbital velocity, resulting in a total loss of the mission. The Company has made a decision to pay $64 million to NASA, the Department of Defense, and other companies that have revealed the fraud from 1996 to 2015. This proposed resolution ensures that the victims of this conduct, including the USA military, can replace faulty product put into the supply chain and help recover the costs foisted on taxpayers to investigate this scheme. The company pleaded guilty on one count of mail fraud and can no longer do business with the US federal government since September 20, 2015. NASA has also proposed the Hydro Extrusion Portlant Inc., formerly known as SPI, be debarred as well. While we do perform our own testing, NASA is not able to retest every single component. It has taken NASA nearly eight years to investigate why the failures happened.
SPI agreed to pay $46 million to the USA government and other commercial customers for the 19-year scheme that included falsifying thousands of certifications for aluminum extrusions to hundreds of customers.