Linde LLC, Air Products, and Air Liquide have all been awarded contracts from NASA to supply liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen for use in space exploration.

The three companies will provide the gases to six agency facilities, supporting activities for the Space Operations Mission Directorate and Exploration System Mission Directorate.

Linde LLC, of Murray Hill, New Jersey, has been awarded a new fixed-price contract to supply around 256,000 tons of liquid nitrogen and 173,000 tons of liquid oxygen to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, its Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi, and its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, during a five-year period of performance.

The three-year base period contract with two one-year options has a maximum value of about $28.8m.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. of Allentown, Pennsylvania, has also been awarded a fixed-price contract to supply approximately 197,250 tons of liquid nitrogen and 26,000 tons of liquid oxygen to support NASA's Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland and its Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, during a five-year period of performance.
The three-year base period contract, again with two one-year options, has a maximum value of about $14.2m.

Under these contracts, the liquid nitrogen will be used for pneumatic actuation, purging, cooling and pressurisation of equipment; the liquid oxygen will be used as an oxidiser in cryogenic rocket engines.

Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP, of Houston, has been awarded a fixed-price contract to supply liquid nitrogen for pneumatic actuation, purging, cooling and pressurisation of equipment, and liquid oxygen to be used as a breathing agent for astronauts.

The company will provide approximately 90,000 tons of liquid nitrogen and 1,300 tons of liquid oxygen to NASA's Johnson Space Centre in Houston during a five-year period of performance.

The three-year base period contract with two one-year options has a maximum value of about $6.1m.

NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida is responsible for releasing the liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen solicitation, known as the NASA Acquisition of Nitrogen and Oxygen, on behalf of the agency.

All contracts begin on July 1st 2009.