Aluminum Parts Fraud Caused $700 Million Losses to NASA in 2009 and 2011

The cause for the Taurus XL launch failures of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) and Glory missions in 2009 and 2011 were bad materials and parts provided by aluminum manufacturer, Sapa Profiles, Inc.

he Taurus XLs that failed for the OCO and Glory missions resulted in the loss of more than $700 million, and years of people’s scientific work.

Above – On Space Launch Complex 576-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Orbital Sciences workers monitor NASA’s Glory upper stack as a crane lifts it from a stationary rail for attachment to the Taurus XL rocket’s Stage 0.
Credits: NASA

Employees had faked test results related to the metal’s strength and reliability under pressure.

Written By Brian Wang