© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Air Products Among 3 Companies Awarded $149 Million Contract to Supply Helium to NASA | WDIY Local News

Joel Kowsky
NASA’s Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard on the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 30, 2022.

A major chemical and gases company headquartered in the Lehigh Valley has received a multi-million-dollar contract with NASA. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

Air Products has been selected as one of three companies that will supply NASA with 1.4 million liters of liquid helium, and 87.7 million standard cubic feet of gaseous helium, for use at the agency’s facilities.

In a news release, NASA said the contract began on Oct. 1, with a total value of around $149 million.

The two other contract awardees are Messer LLC of New Jersey, and Linde Inc. of Connecticut.

NASA says helium is required to support the International Space Station, as well as the super-heavy lift Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft.

Both these systems support NASA’s Artemis program, which plans to return astronauts to the moon and will serve as a stepping stone for human missions to Mars.

Helium – an inert gas – is used for purging hydrogen systems, as a pressurizing agent for ground and flight systems, a cryogenic agent for cooling materials, and as a commodity used in precision welding applications, according to NASA.

Air Products said in previous releases that its working relationship with NASA started in 1957, and that the company has supplied liquid hydrogen and other industrial gases and services for use in the U.S. space program – including for the Space Shuttle, Apollo, and Mercury missions.

In 2018, Air Products supplied gases for the launch of NASA’s Mars InSight mission, a robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of the Red Planet.

(Original air-date: 10/3/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director.
Related Content