SpaceX's 38 falsified Inspection Reports: What should you learn?

If it can happen to Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Falcon Heavy it can happen to you too

What happened with SpaceX’s 38 falsified Inspection Reports and what can we learn from it ?

That Elon Musk’s SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft is perhaps well known. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space travel. Recently, an engineer at an Upstate New York company was charged with falsifying inspection reports of parts used by SpaceX to build the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

Snapshot of news related to the problem

The engineer in question, James Smalley, 41, worked as a QA engineer at Rochester, NY-based machining firm PMI Industries. He is accused of falsifying at least 38 inspection reports for parts used by Elon Musk’s rocket company. Prosecutors also discovered that about 76 parts were ejected during an inspection, or were never fully inspected, but were still shipped off to SpaceX, causing potentially significant financial and material losses, in case of failure.

Very often officials rely on the inspection reports and testing certifications to ensure that parts comply with the highest quality and safety standards, to prevent any chance of accidents during flight.

Spaceship taking off

In this case, as many as 10 of SpaceX’s government missions may have been impacted by the unsafe parts, including seven NASA space flight missions, two Air Force space flight missions, and one NOAA space flight mission. It is a pretty serious issue and if it can happen to SpaceX, imagine the possibility of such malpractices existing in the general airline and space travel industry. Such incidents can be a potential hazard where hundreds of thousands of lives may be at risk, with millions traveling on planes each day.

To get an idea of the scale : In 2018, commercial airlines and scheduled flights may have carried over 4.3 billion passengers, worldwide, averaging at a massive 12 million travelers each day !

Why is document security important for an Inspection Agency?

Many governmental agencies and airline manufacturers depend on the inspection report certificates issued by statutory or authorized inspection and certification agencies to approve air-worthiness and some other attributes (for safety and effectiveness etc). Such reports should maintain information integrity and prevent unauthorized manipulation. It goes without saying that anything which can cause loss of lives and money should be extremely high priority.

How can you avoid this situation and solve this problem plaguing the industry?

Secure PDF Stamping, a segment-specific solution is designed to help organizations engaged in testing and certification inspection reports to ensure that documents are made tamper-proof and can be verified on demand. It helps to prevent tampering or unauthorized manipulation of both physical and electronic documents like a final report by an Inspection Agency or a consultant. The reports created by experts can be validated by third-party organizations for audits and subsequent approvals or processing can then be done. A secure QR based document maintains the integrity of the report’s content and can be used with full trust and confidence.

The Qryptal Secure PDF Stamping Solution - tailor-made for Inspection Agencies

Qryptal’s Secure QR code solution overcomes many limitations of inspection reports (such as unauthorized tampering and modifications), including helping to secure unstructured reports. Qryptal also makes it easy to verify such secure reports without the hassles associated with other means such as digitally signed PDFs. With Qryptal solutions, it would not be possible for people like James Smalley to falsify reports and the consequences of such misdeeds could easily be averted. And it is not just restricted to SpaceX, Falcon9 or Falcon Heavy - the benefits go to the entire air and space travel industry as also other industries that use this solution for their reports, documents and certificates.

We have been helping organizations globally in ensuring that the documents that they create are made secure and tamper-proof and thus can be easily verified and trusted, with our cutting-edge Secure QR code technology.

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