“People come first,” Richard Craig, the vice president of technical and regulatory affairs for the Compressed Gas Association clearly declared. But a fact must be known to better understanding the pandemic time and especially the actual moment, when the battle against Covid-19 is fierce. Liquid oxygen is an important tool for combating severe symptoms of Covid-19 and many people admitted in hospitals even need oxygen directly pumped into their lungs. Oxygen is needed at the same time as a necessary propellant chemical for rockets. In other words, the leading launch firms, including SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, and ULA need it. The same process used to create oxygen for rocket fuel can also create oxygen used for Covid patients. In difficult time, both human patients and space industry have priorities. To say it clearly, Covid-19 treatment requires somuch oxygen it could delay rocket launches.
NASA had to delay a rocket launch of an Earth-surveillance satellite by a week due to a lack of liquid nitrogen ULA uses to test the rocket before launch. Both Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s President, and Elon Musk, its CEO, spoke out about the potential impact a lack of oxygen could have on their flight schedule. This is difficult to solve. Liquid oxygen is highly flammable and explosive, so drivers that ferry it between production and consumption sites such as rocket pads have to be even more highly trained than a standard commercial truck driver. It’s not so easy to procure and transport it from big distances. The problem has a single solution: the end of pandemic. When ???