Boeing is accused of threatening the lives of astronauts

The aviation company Wilson Aerospace, based in Colorado, has filed a lawsuit accusing NASA’s military contractor Boeing of fraud and theft of their intellectual property. According to Wilson Aerospace’s complaint, which was filed in Seattle federal Court last week, Boeing received “billions of dollars in revenue due to the violation of trade secrets” and therefore asked for the return of all their income and profits. 

Boeing, for its part, claims that Wilson Aerospace is to blame and denies all accusations. Photo: Boeing

Wilson, with which Boeing signed a contract in 2014-2016 to develop solutions for attaching engines to the NASA Space Launch System Moon rocket, claimed that the aviation giant broke the contract and offered substandard solutions that, as quoted by Sky News, “critically deficient in quality and performance”. These decisions, the lawsuit alleges, led to accidents that delayed the launch of the massive SLS rocket.

Wilson Aerospace accuses Boeing of stealing and misusing intellectual property that could endanger the lives of astronauts.

“Boeing has not only stolen our intellectual property and damaged our company’s reputation but has used the technology incorrectly and at the expense of astronauts’ safety, which is beyond despicable. This is very vile and insidious, because Boeing has put its own profit above the safety of people,” said David Wilson, founder of Wilson Aerospace, quoted by the Denver Post newspaper.

Wilson Aerospace also claims that Boeing steals their development of special tools that are used by astronauts during spacewalks to install equipment for the life support system of the International Space Station and airlock chambers.

The SLS rocket of the NASA Artemis I mission. Photo: NASA

For example, the lawsuit stated that Boeing used a special key “in a way that did not correspond to its original design,” and an earlier version of the tool was still stuck on the ISS. Also, Boeing is still allegedly using the stolen Wilson Aerospace intellectual property without knowing how to use it properly, so products based on them have critical security flaws that endanger the lives of astronauts. 

Boeing, for its part, claims that Wilson Aerospace is to blame and denies all charges.

“This lawsuit is rife with inaccuracies and omissions. We will vigorously defend against this in court,” Boeing said in a statement.

It’s hard to say who’s right or wrong here. Whether a well-known aviation giant really took advantage of a much smaller contractor and violated its intellectual property rights, or is it a dirty case of an unsuccessful partnership. Now all we can do is wait and watch the development of this particularly complicated case.

Earlier, we reported on how the “cursed” Boeing Starliner spacecraft remained on Earth again.

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