NASA has awarded contracts to Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Messer LLC of Bridgewater, New Jersey, to supply gaseous and liquid helium.
Each contract is a fixed-price, indefinite-delivery requirement contract that begins Oct. 1 with a two-year base period, followed by three one-year options that, if exercised, extend the contract to Sept. 30, 2024. The total value of the contract with Air Products, including options, is approximately $168 million. The total value of the contract with Messer, including options, is approximately $35.2 million.
NASA uses helium as an inert purge gas for hydrogen systems and a pressurizing agent for ground and flight fluid systems. Helium is also used throughout the agency as a cryogenic agent for cooling various materials and has been used in precision welding applications. Helium is required to support the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), International Space Station, and various other programs.