Air Products inks potential $1bn helium deal with NASA

Air Products has signed a helium supply deal with NASA that could result in approximately $1.07bn of business.

Under the latest contract, Air Products will supply the space agency with 33 million litres of liquid helium for use at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and lease six liquid helium pumps.

Helium deliveries will begin 1st December with a firm fixed-price. The deal includes a 23-month base period, followed by three option periods that, if exercised, would extend the contract to 31st October 2027.

The total value of the contract for the base plus option periods is around $1.07bn.

Helium is an inert gas used by NASA for purging hydrogen systems, as a pressurising agent for ground and flight fluid systems, and as a cryogenic cooling agent. It is also used for spacecraft and rocket processing and for launch operations.

NASA requires bulk liquid helium to support a range of agency activities from Kennedy and nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, including the International Space Station programme as well as the Space Launch System and Orion programmes that underpin Artemis, the agency’s missions to the Moon and Mars.

The signed deal follows Air Products and Linde recently signing a separate agreement with NASA to supply approximately 15 million pounds of liquid hydrogen. NASA’s high-profile Artemis I mission is currently ongoing.

Read more: Linde, Air Products ink liquid hydrogen deal with NASA

Air Products’ working relationship with NASA began in 1957 with the commissioning of an industrial gas plant in Ohio, and has since included supplying NASA with liquid hydrogen and other industrial gases for advancing the US Space Programme.

In addition to product supply to the space launches, Air Products also has had a long-term relationship with NASA’s engine testing programme at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Johnson Space Center in Texas, as well as Marshall Space Flight Center.

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