NASA was sold faulty aluminum for 19 years


"NASA relies on the integrity of our industry throughout the supply chain".

Researchers at NASA's Launch Services Program spent several years investigating the failures.

In connection with it, DOJ announced April 23 that an OR aluminum extrusion manufacturer has agreed to pay $46 million to NASA, the Department of Defense, and others 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.

SPI has agreed to pay United States dollars 46 million to the U.S. government and other commercial customers in damages for running the 19-year scheme under which it falsified certification tests to hundreds of customers. Tensile testing involves slowly stretching and then ripping apart a sample of the metal using a machine, which then measures the force applied to the sample at each stage of the test. The failure of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory in 2009 and the Glory satellite in 2011 were previously believed to be due to nose cone malfunctions.

The launch failed, and according to official NASA statement, the rocket's fairing that carried the satellites while they travel in space didn't open as planned.

"When testing results are altered and certifications are provided falsely, missions fail", said Jim Norman, director for launch services at NASA in Washington. Test results revealing that aluminium parts failed to meet tensile strength requirements were altered so that they showed the parts passing certification. "Our trust was severely violated". After all of this happen, the company is blocked from U.S Federal Government Contracting because of fraud.

News of the satellite failures comes a week after Norsk Hydro ASA, the current parent company of Sapa, agreed to pay US$46 million to NASA, the Department of Defence and others to resolve criminal charges and civil claims related to the fraud, which took place from 1996 to 2015. As a outcome of the investigation, NASA has suspended SPI from government contracting and has additionally proposed debarring the company permanently.

Shockingly, NASA has found that the root cause of the failed Orbital Taurus XL rocket launches was faulty rocket parts sold by a third party.

She added that she is extremely pleased with the entire team's efforts during the investigation which had "been worth every minute".