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NASA Sold Faulty Aluminum Parts for 20 Years


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#1 LFC

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 10:56 AM

These motherf***ers need to go to JAIL! That's a whole lot of theft from the American taxpayer. They should be prosecuted for not just the contractual amounts but the damage they caused. That's a lot of equipment and man hours they're responsible for wasting. Unfortunately that's not what they got.

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When the launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory and Glory missions failed in 2009 and 2011, the agency said it was because their launch vehicle malfunctioned. The clamshell structure (called fairing) encapsulating the satellites as they traveled aboard Orbital ATK's Taurus XL rocket failed to separate on command. Now, a NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) investigation has revealed that the malfunction was caused by faulty aluminum materials. More importantly, the probe blew a 19-year fraud scheme perpetrated by Oregon aluminum extrusion manufacturer Sapa Profiles, Inc., which Orbital ATK fell victim to, wide open.

LSP, along with NASA's Office of the Inspector General and the US Department of Justice, have discovered the Sapa Profiles falsified critical tests on the aluminum it sold. For almost two decades, employees would doctor failing numbers or violate other testing standards, such as increasing the speed of testing machines or using sample sizes that didn't meet specifications. They'd then provide clients, including government contractors, with falsified certifications. SPI itself was motivated by profits and the need to conceal the inconsistent quality of its aluminum products, while its employees were motivated by production-based bonuses.

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