Press Release

Air Products Supplies NASA Orion Launch Beginning New Era of Space Travel

By SpaceRef Editor
December 6, 2014
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Air Products (NYSE: APD) played a key role, as it always has in NASA space exploration, when the Orion  EFT-1 carried by a Delta IV Heavy rocket lifted off the launch pad today signaling the beginning of a new era in deep space travel.  Spanning what is over a 50 year working relationship, Air Products now adds Orion’s lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to its list of support for NASA space missions by providing a reliable supply of industrial gases and other services.  Air Products had also fueled all NASA travels of the Space Shuttle, Apollo, and earlier Mercury missions. 

“It is very exciting to be part of this new strategy directed toward deep space travel and to have fueled Orion for its first exploration flight test.  We have been supplying NASA for over a half-a-century and look forward to continued work on this new initiative.  It brings our team a lot of pride to be part of this launch and what is really a history making event,” said Greg DeMatto, Air Products’ strategic account manager for NASA.

The Orion EFT-1 was originally scheduled for launch yesterday, but several factors postponed it until today.  The delay also required some quick action on the part of Air Products, which needed to promptly deliver to the site an additional five trailers of liquid hydrogen and two more trailers of liquid helium from production facilities to replace product already used during the initial launch attempt.  The earlier delivery of industrial gases for the initial launch included much larger quantities of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium, which is stored in large tanks at Cape Canaveral for use during lift off.  Hydrogen is used in the propellant fuel mix for the rocket, and helium is an inerting gas used to purge and help force the fuel to the engines.

“It requires some thorough logistical preparation in the event a launch is postponed.  However, our operations group along with logistics have been doing this for some time and are aware of what it takes to provide reliable supply and delivery to our customer, and also its critical importance to the success of the mission,” DeMatto said.    

Orion’s mission after lifting off from the Delta IV Heavy rocket is to perform the first flight test in space of the spacecraft that is designed to carry astronauts on exploration missions into deep space.  Orion is flying this mission without astronauts and is to orbit the Earth twice and reach about 3,600 miles above the planet, which is 15 times higher than the International Space Station, before its return to Earth where it is to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean and be recovered by NASA and U.S. Navy teams.

Air Products’ working relationship with NASA began in 1957 with the commissioning of an industrial gas plant inOhio, and has since included supplying NASA with liquid hydrogen and other industrial gases for advancing the U.S. Space Program.  In addition to product supply to the space launches, Air Products has also had a long-term relationship with NASA’s engine testing program at Stennis Space Center in Miss., as well as Marshall Space Flight Center in Ala., and Johnson Space Center in Tex.

About Air Products

Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a leading industrial gases company. For nearly 75 years, the company has provided atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and related equipment to manufacturing markets including metals, food and beverage, refining and petrochemical, and natural gas liquefaction. Air Products’ materials technologies segment serves the semiconductor, polyurethanes, cleaning and coatings, and adhesives industries. Over 20,000 employees in 50 countries are working to make Air Products the world’s safest and best performing industrial gases company, providing sustainable offerings and excellent service to all customers. In fiscal 2014, Air Products had sales of $10.4 billion and was ranked number 276 on the Fortune 500 annual list of public companies. For more information, visit

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2014.


SpaceRef staff editor.