Aerospace manufacturer Boeing has reportedly agreed to an independent ethics probe over a lunar landing vehicles bid.

Last month, the company entered a ‘compliance program enhancements’ agreement with Nasa and the US Air Force, Reuters reported.

As part of the agreement, a ‘third-party expert’ will evaluate and review its ethics and compliance programmes and practices. Boeing will bear the expenses.

The agreement follows even as federal prosecutors continue a criminal investigation as to whether Boeing space executive Jim Chilton was improperly guided by Nasa’s former human exploration chief Doug Loverro during the contract bidding process, according to the news agency.

Boeing could have been suspended or debarred from bidding on future space contracts if it had not agreed to the ‘compliance program enhancements’.

Nasa and the US Air Force are its space division’s top customers.

Boeing spokesman Damien Mills was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We did not meet our own high expectations, or those of our customer, in the (human landing systems) procurement.

“We appreciate the productive dialogue we have had with the agencies and believe that the agreement will help to ensure that we will meet those expectations in the future.”

The move has also seen the aircraft manufacturer amend its internal Procurement Integrity Act procedures.

In August, the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed two civil penalties totalling $1.25m against Boeing.