The money is all burned up. “That’s gone,” said William Gerstenmaier, a NASA associate administrator, referring to the money they lost when the SpaceX rocket exploded in midair June 28, taking with a whole lot of taxpayer’s money and a very precious student project. The Hawthorne, California-based company has already started an investigation into the reason behind the failure. On Friday, some members of the House Science, Space and Technology committee asked whether its transparent enough for a company to investigate its own failure.
Taxpayers lost $110 million when a SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station exploded into smithereens shortly after liftoff last month.
Gerstenmaier explained that NASA, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, are also involved in the investigation.
At the hearing, Paul Martin, NASA’s inspector general, said that his office was looking at whether the agency’s private contractors should be leading such investigations.
This is not the first investigation of its kind. Prior to this disaster, another rocket failed to carry tons of food and other supplies to the space station – this one was operated by Orbital Sciences, which is now known as Orbital ATK. A similar corporate-led investigation is continuing into the failure of that mission.