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Air Products Proudly Salutes 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

Company Completed its Mission Leading to First Steps on the Moon; Decades of Space Travel Reflect a Source of Company Pride and Technology Know-How

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Air Products (NYSE: APD) was there on July 16, 1969 at 9:32 a.m. when Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the company provided hundreds of thousands of tons of industrial gases to support the launch and mission. Likewise, when Astronaut Neil Armstrong proudly stated, “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” Air Products was there as well, as its industrial gases were vital to the lunar landing which enabled the first steps on the moon 50 years ago today on July 20, 1969.

“We congratulate NASA on the 50th anniversary of landing and first steps on the moon. Air Products is as proud today of its ongoing association with NASA as it was with the support role we played for the Apollo 11 mission. Five decades ago Apollo’s achievements captivated the attention of people worldwide and for our company to have played a role has always been a milestone moment for every past and current employee. The United States (U.S.) space program relationship is of national importance and a source of great pride for Air Products,” said Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO of Air Products.

Evidence of Air Products’ role with the Apollo 11 mission is found in company archives, including a letter from NASA’s Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at the time, George E. Mueller.  The September 17, 1969 personal correspondence to Air Products’ Founder and Chairman at the time, Leonard Pool, states: “Enclosed are two photos taken on the moon’s surface that I promised…They are sent as a reminder of our appreciation for your steadfast support of the nation’s space program. Please accept them with my best wishes.”

Air Products’ working relationship with NASA began in 1957. It has included supplying NASA with liquid hydrogen and other industrial gases for advancing the U.S. Space Program from Orion, the Space Shuttle, Apollo and reaches all the way back to earlier Mercury missions. Air Products was the only supplier of the mission-critical liquid hydrogen requirements for all space shuttle launches from the program’s inception in 1981 to conclusion 30 years later in July 2011. In addition to product supply to the space launches, Air Products also has had a long-term relationship with NASA’s engine testing program at Stennis Space Center in Miss., Johnson Space Center in Tex., as well as Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. 

Several of Air Products’ industrial gas facilities were built in key locations originally and specifically to support space program efforts. Some of the locations included: Painesville, Ohio (1957), West Palm Beach, Fla. (1959), Long Beach, Calif. (1963), two plants in New Orleans, La. (1966, 1977), and Pace, Fla. (1994).

Today, space travel remains a key business for Air Products. Most recently, in May 2018 Air Products provided vital industrial gases to NASA and the U.S. Space Program with the successful launch and first-ever mission to study the heart of the Mars. NASA’s mission to Mars, referred to as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight), launched from the West Coast’s Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Air Products is also heavily involved in supporting ongoing and increasing number of space launches and missions of several independent companies.