Oregon Company Sapa Profiles Inc. has sold defective parts of NASA that ruined 2 missions: Research



On the plus side, no one was killed. The bad news: An Oregon metal maker lied about test results and sold defective pieces of aluminum to NASA and other customers for more than 19 years, according to the Justice Department and NASA. It appears that workers at Sapa Profiles Inc. – which is now called Hydro Extrusion Portland – changed test results to make the materials look ready for sale from 1996 to 2015. NASA claims that the aluminum blow has caused the bankruptcy of two satellite missions and cost $ 700 million. The $ 46 million that Sapa's parent, Norsk Hydro ASA, agreed to pay to the federal government and other customers, reports Bloomberg. Not to mention the years of scientific research lost due to fraud.

The space agency blames two failed launches on defective parts: the 2009 Orbiting Carbon Observatory and Glory 2011, which both popped when the nose guard cones of Taurus XL rockets did not fully open, CNET reported. Sapa's apparent motive comes as no surprise: boosting corporate profits and hitting production-based bonuses. Now, the manufacturer is excluded from federal hiring and has pleaded guilty to a mail fraud account. Norsk Hydro says the case is settled and the company has invested "significant time and resources to completely revamp our quality and compliance organizations." But for NASA, the hard truth prevails. "When test results are changed and certifications are given falsely, missions fail," says an agency official. (Read more fraud stories.)


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