NASA has awarded eight contracts worth a combined total of approximately $77m to supply nitrogen and oxygen to NASA centers for a variety of operational activities.

The contracts were awarded under the NASA-wide Acquisition for Nitrogen and Oxygen 3 (NANO 3) solicitation.

The US space agency uses nitrogen for pneumatic actuation, purging/inerting, pressurisation, and cooling, and oxygen as an oxidizer in cryogenic rocket engines.

The NANO 3 contracts are fixed-price, indefinite-delivery requirement contracts with economic price adjustment.

The five-year contracts began on July 1 and were awarded to US-based companies: Messer LLC (Bridgewater, New Jersey); Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (Allentown, Pennsylvania); Praxair, Inc. (Danbury, Connecticut); Praxair Distribution, Inc. (Danbury, Connecticut); Airgas USA, LLC-West Division (Long Beach, California); Airgas USA, LLC-South Division (Kennesaw, Georgia); Airgas USA, LLC-Central Division (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. (Basking Ridge, New Jersey).