The ongoing reverberation from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make itself felt in the xo most improbable place: spaceflight. On Friday, NASA took the unexpected step of launching a satellite in September. Due to the liquid oxygen shortage (LOX) associated with the pandemic. And there may be a delay in the launch soon.
Oxygen demand has only increased with the Delta variant, which in many cities has driven hospitalizations and ICU admission rates back to where it was at the start of the pandemic. But oxygen is not only used in ventilators. The space industry uses LOX as an oxidizer in rocket propellant. It is often used in conjunction
with other gases such as liquid hydrogen (that's why a lot of water vapor is generated during discharge. that is, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to form water).NASA and the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, said the launch date for the Landsat 9 satellite will be Sept. 23.
ULA isn't the only launch company that could be affected by the LOX shortage. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said last week during the Space Symposium, "We're going to have a real impact this year due to the lack of liquid oxygen in the space." oxygen release “Of course we will make sure hospitals have the oxygen they need. But for anyone who has a spare liquid oxygen Please email me.”