A Texas oil company fined $275,000 for selling to NASA “potentially tainted fuel” that could have been used by SpaceX to launch the Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station in 2020.
- In February, Anahuac Transport pleaded guilty to delivering “possibly tainted” rocket fuel to NASA.
- On Thursday, the company was ordered to pay a $275,000 fine and serve three years of probation.
- Anahuac delivered the fuel in tankers that had previously carried other chemicals.
- The company said in documents that the tanks were not contaminated.
Anahuac Transport, a Texas liquefied petroleum products company, was found guilty of a “criminal scheme” in February after admitting to “delivering potentially tainted rocket fuel to NASA‘and the firm’s punishment was announced on Thursday.
Judge Alfred H. Bennett of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas ordered the company to pay a $275,000 fine and serve a three-year probation—the firm is barred from entering into contracts with the federal government.
“During the hearing, the court noted the importance of the Johnson Space Center to the identity of the Houston area and that it was a privilege for a company like Anahuac to play a role in the US space program,” the statement said. statement from the US Department of Justice,
Anahuac also said the company “abused this privilege.”
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Anahauc delivered rocket fuel in contaminated trailers to the US Space Agency, which was also to be used by SpaceX during its launches to the International Space Station (ISS). Pictured is Falcon 9 receiving Demo-2 on May 30, 2020.
DailyMail.com has contacted Anahuac Transport and has yet to receive a response.
Anaok was convicted on February 23 when Gary Monto, the company’s president, and Brant Sharpio, the owner, pleaded guilty to cutting corners while transporting rocket fuel.
“From approximately 2012 to 2020, Anahuac was subcontracted by NASA and the Department of Defense to transport rocket fuel,” the court document says.
Anaok was convicted on February 23 when Gary Monto, the company’s president, and Brant Sharpio (pictured), the owner, pleaded guilty to cutting corners while transporting rocket fuel.
“To prevent contamination, Anahuac required that the tank trailer they used was free from previously identified chemicals that can have adverse reactions with the fuel.
“However, Anahuac deliberately falsified its documents, claiming that it had not previously transported incompatible chemicals in its tank trucks. In fact, it was.
If SpaceX had used tainted fuel, it would have refueled its first manned flight, Demo-2, on May 30, 2020.
During this mission, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley traveled to the ISS, marking the first launch of an American rocket from US soil in nearly 10 years.
The Justice Department did not say whether the “possibly tainted” fuel caused any missile launch problems for eight years.
Daily Mail.com has contacted the Justice Department and has yet to receive a response.
When Monto and Sharpio filed guilty pleas, they also agreed to forfeit $251,401, representing the gross proceeds associated with the commission of the crime.
“The court issued a monetary sentence against Anahuac for this amount,” the document says.