News, Culture & Society

Anahuac Transport is fined $275,000 for selling NASA ‘potentially tainted fuel’

Texas petroleum company is fined $275,000 for selling NASA ‘potentially tainted fuel’ that may have been used by SpaceX to launch its Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station in 2020

  • Anahuac Transport pleaded guilty in February for delivering ‘possibly tainted’ rocket fuel to NASA 
  • The company was ordered Thursday to pay a $275,000 fine and serve three years on probation
  •  Anahuac had delivered the fuel in tanks that had previously transported other chemicals
  • The company stated in documents that the tanks were not contaminated

Anahuac Transport, a liquid petroleum company in Texas, was found guilty of a ‘criminal scheme’ in February after admitting to ‘supplying potentially tainted rocket fuel to NASA,’ and the firm’s punishment was announced Thursday.

Judge Alfred H. Bennett, with the US attorney’s office of Southern District of Texas, ordered the company to pay a $275,000 fine and serve three years on probation – the firm is banned from federal government contracting.

Anahauc delivered rocket fuel in contaminated trailers to the American space agency, which was also set to be used by SpaceX during its launches to the International Space Station (ISS).

‘During the hearing, the court noted the importance of the Johnson Space Center to the identity of the Houston area and how it was a privilege for a company like Anahuac to play a role in the US space program,’ reads a statement from the US Department of Justice,

Anahuac was also told it had ‘abused that privilege.’

 

Anahauc delivered rocket fuel in contaminated trailers to the American space agency, which was also set to be used by SpaceX during its launches to the International Space Station (ISS). Pictured is the Falcon 9 taking Demo-2 on May 30, 2020

DailyMail.com has contacted Anahuac Transport and has yet to receive a response.

Anahauc was convicted on February 23 when Gary Monteau, the company’s president, and Brant Charpiot, owner, pleaded guilty to cutting corners while transporting the rocket fuel.

‘From approximately 2012 through 2020, NASA and DOD subcontracted Anahuac to transport the rocket fuel,’ the court document reads. 

Anahauc was convicted on February 23 when Gary Monteau, the company’s president, and Brant Charpiot (pictured) , owner, pleaded guilty to cutting corners while transporting the rocket fuel

Anahauc was convicted on February 23 when Gary Monteau, the company’s president, and Brant Charpiot (pictured) , owner, pleaded guilty to cutting corners while transporting the rocket fuel

‘To prevent contamination, Anahuac was required to ensure the tanker trailer they used did not previously contain certain chemicals that may have adverse reactions with the fuel.

‘However, Anahuac intentionally falsified its documents, claiming it had not previously hauled incompatible chemicals with its tanker trailers. In fact, it had.’

If SpaceX used the tainted fuel, it would have fueled its first crewed flight, Demo-2, on May 30, 2020.

This mission saw NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launch to the ISS, which was the first time in nearly 10 years did an American rocket launch from US soil. 

The Justice Department has not revealed if the ‘possibly tainted’ fuel caused any issues for rocket launches over the eight-year span.

Daily Mail.com had contacted the Justice Department and has yet to receive a response.

When Monteau and Charpiot submitted their guilty plea, they also agreed to forfeit $251,401, which constitutes gross proceeds traceable to the commission of the offense.

‘The court entered a money judgement against Anahuac in that amount,’ according to the document.

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk