NASA Investigation Uncovers Cause of Two Science Mission Launch Failures
"NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) investigators have determined the technical root cause for the Taurus XL launch failures of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) and Glory missions in 2009 and 2011, respectively: faulty materials provided by aluminum manufacturer, Sapa Profiles, Inc. (SPI). LSP's technical investigation led to the involvement of NASA's Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). DOJ's efforts, recently made public, resulted in the resolution of criminal charges and alleged civil claims against SPI, and its agreement to pay $46 million to the U.S. government and other commercial customers. This relates to a 19-year scheme that included falsifying thousands of certifications for aluminum extrusions to hundreds of customers. NASA's updated public summary of the launch failures, which was published Tuesday ..."
NASA Investigative Summary: Taurus XL T8 and T9 Mission Failures
"The combined cost of both mission failures was in excess of $700,000,000."
Keith's note: It took NASA KSC, NASA OIG, and DOJ nearly a decade to figure out what went wrong - on missions worth $700,000,000 - and all that the responsible company has to pay is $46 million - 5% ...