Postmortems

NASA's Taurus launches - two satellites lost, supplier to blame

19 years of fraudulent quality certifications.

In both cases, the failure occurred in the payload fairing, a clamshell nosecone that protects the payload from the temperatures and pressures of launch, then separates and falls away once the payload is in orbit. In both launches, the fairing failed to separate.

The result of this was that the satellites failed to reach orbit, fell back into the atmosphere, and were destroyed on reentry.

The company has been ordered by the Department of Justice to pay $46 million to NASA, the Department of Defence and others it defrauded.

Summary report from NASA’s investigation here: