Praxair, North America’s largest industrial gases manufacturer and largest liquid hydrogen producer, has been awarded NASA’s agency-wide Acquisition of Liquid Hydrogen contract.

Praxair’s hydrogen supply network will serve four NASA sites, including Stennis Space Centre, Mississippi; Kennedy Space Centre, Florida; Marshall Space Flight Centre, Alabama; and Glenn Research Centre, Ohio. NASA projected the maximum value of the five-year contract to be $53m.

Praxair’s hydrogen manufacturing infrastructure and delivery capability satisfies NASA’s stringent standards for product quality and on-time delivery to fulfil the agency’s missions. NASA uses liquid hydrogen as fuel for rocket engine development, testing and launch of spacecraft; delivery of satellites into earth’s orbit; and delivery of payloads to the International Space Station.

In addition to the hydrogen supply, NASA awarded Praxair a five-year liquid oxygen supply agreement for the Kennedy Space Centre, and previously, the Department of Defence awarded Praxair a five-year liquid hydrogen supply agreement for missions launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

“NASA has been a long-time customer of Praxair, and we are proud to have been awarded this contract,” said Jeff Barnhard, Vice President, East Region for Praxair’s US industrial gases business. “We look forward to playing an even larger role in our country’s national space program and the expanding satellite technology industry.”

Praxair will serve the NASA requirements from three production facilities located in Alabama, Indiana and New York. The company’s Niagara Falls, New York, production facility is preparing to commission an expansion project that enhances Praxair’s capability to fulfil potential mission growth and new applications.