Sending up a satellite into space is not a cheap endeavor, and as such, a lot of work is put into making sure that everything works right and that it can withstand the rigors of being sent up into space. Unfortunately, it seems that no thanks to an Oregon company by the name of Sapa Profiles, they might have cost NASA about $700 million in satellite failures.
This is apparently due to the company who faked test results of the metals that they were providing to NASA, in which the faulty materials caused more than $700 million in losses and two failed satellite launch missions. One of those missions involved the Taurus XL, a rocket that was meant to deliver satellites into space to help study the Earth’s climate, but it failed when it failed to fully open after being deployed.
According to Jim Norman, director for launch services at NASA in Washington, not only was this a financial loss for NASA, but it was also a scientific loss for the world in general as it meant that years of work had been lost due to the fraud. “When testing results are altered and certifications are provided falsely, missions fail.”
Norsk Hydro ASA, the parent company of Sapa, has since agreed to a settlement agreement of $46 million that will be paid out to NASA, the Department of Defense, and others to resolve criminal charges and civil claims related to the fraud.