The payments also did not take into account that Boeing had acquired several seats in a Russian spacecraft, which was to be sold to NASA, which would have helped close the perceived gap in the flights. Five days after NASA awarded Boeing the extra $ 287 million, Boeing proposed, according to the IG report, NASA sell up to five seats on the Russian Soyuz for $ 373.5 million.
NASA also questioned SpaceX, the other contracted company of, NASA is scheduled to fly its astronauts to the space station to accelerate the development of their spacecraft and close the gap.
Both Boeing and SpaceX had serious technical problems with the so-called "commercial occupation program" of NASA delayed the first flights with human crews by two years.
Boeing, said the IG, found a way to use this delay. NASA "essentially paid Boeing higher prices to fix a schedule loss caused by Boeing's 1
3-month delay" when it reached a major design milestone. However, the IG said that the "additional compensation is unnecessary" because the risk of a flight gap is "minimal".
NASA officials said they had to comply with Boeing's demands for additional compensation because "they deemed it necessary." For financial reasons, Boeing could not continue as a commercial crew operator unless the contractor received the higher prices ,
In a letter to the IG, the agency said that Boeing had been "overpaid" by NASA [flights] or that the final agreed prices were "unnecessary," "unjustified," "unreasonable," or "higher." hypothetically lower amount.
Conclusion that Boeing had agreed to a price reduction. The prizes were reviewed and approved by numerous NASA officials and resulted in a 29-page justification. A NASA spokesman declined to publish the letter because it was copyrighted. He also noted that the IG "did not recommend reimbursement of the costs in question".
In a statement, Boeing defended the additional payments and said that they "are taking a much greater financial risk and are already supporting NASA in making critical decisions, keys to optimizing future operations." Doing so under the structure of the original contract would have cost and increases planning uncertainty and limits NASA's flexibility in mission planning. "
In 2014, NASA awarded contracts – $ 4.2 billion to Boeing, $ 2.6 billion to SpaceX – as part of its efforts to complete the program for NASA's manned space flight and bring the launches back to US ground for the first time since the 2011 departure of the Space Shuttle.
NASA has had Russia without the ability to fly its astronauts into space to pay up to $ 84 million per seat for trips to the space station, but the IG report put the Gr eligible for the Boeing contract and noted that the first flights with Boeing's Starliner capsule would cost $ 90 million per seat, slightly more than Russia's demand. According to IG, rides on the SpaceX Dragon Capsule would cost around $ 55 million per seat.
The report was another bad news for Boeing, who has killed 346 people since the crash of two of his 737 Max jets. Dennis Muilenburg, his CEO, was stripped of his title as Chairman, and the month-long priming of the passenger aircraft cost the company $ 5.6 billion in revenue in the second quarter. The criticism on Capitol Hill has diminished.
The Thursday's IG report came one day after another report highlighting the fights of yet another big Boeing project for NASA – the development of the rocket Space Launch System, which has not yet started, but NASA hopes to use to fly astronauts to the moon. According to this report, the SLS rocket, the Orion crew capsule and related ground systems flying on it have cost the agency $ 34 billion, a figure that is set to reach $ 50 billion by 2024.
The report comes just days after Boeing carried out a test of the Starliner demolition system that would rescue the crew in an emergency. Boeing and NASA rated the test as successful, although one of the three main parachutes could not be used.
According to Boeing, two were enough to land the craft gently and safely, and quickly determined the cause of the failure: a pin attached to a smaller parachute to pull out the larger main screen was not properly secured , a human error. The pen was under a protective cover and was not visible.
In the future, Boeing officials promised to test the safety of the connection by pulling.
SpaceX also had problems with his spaceship. In April, the vehicle was destroyed in a test of its demolition engines. But the company did the same test this week and it seemed to work well.
SpaceX also had serious problems with its parachutes. In the same month the kite capsule exploded on the test bench, the company conducted a drop test that failed to deploy three parachutes, "resulting in the loss of the test sled," the IG said.
Since then, the company has reported having completed 14 tests on a new parachute design.
During a Thursday afternoon speech at NASA's Ames Research Center, Vice President Pence made an optimistic tone and said the agency would shoot down "American astronauts on US American rockets" from Spring.