Oxygen requirements for Covid Delay Food for Space Station, Satellite for Climate Change Monitoring: Report

The pandemic, everywhere, has also delayed rocket launches because oxygen has been diverted from launch pads to hospitals.

According to an exclusive Bloomberg report, the diversion of liquid oxygen has led NASA to announce that it will delay the September launch of its next Earth surveillance satellite by a week.

Oxygen cooled in its liquid form to -184 C is a crucial propellant for launch companies from SpaceX to ULA to Virgin Orbit. Now, the industry is anticipating launch delays as patients on ventilators take priority in the basic gas supply chain.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. president Gwynne Shotwell sounded the industry’s alarm bells this week at a conference in Colorado, calling on anyone with spare oxygen to contact her. Company founder Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that poor liquid oxygen supplies were “a risk, but not yet a limiting factor” for SpaceX launches.

NASA and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) have said that the launch of Landsat 9, a surveillance satellite that monitors climate change, will be delayed for a week until September 23 due to constraints facing the supplier of nitrogen Airgas Inc.

Amid a new wave of Covid-19 in the United States, the state of Florida is going through a major crisis as hospitals and funeral homes run out of space for bodies. Worse yet, the oxygen shortage is raising fears that there are more preventable deaths.

Florida reported an average of 227 Covid deaths per day last week, according to a New York Times database. The average number of new known cases (23,314 per day) rose 30% from the state’s previous peak in January. There are now more than 17,000 people hospitalized with the virus in Florida, US News reported. Covid-related hospital admissions have tripled over the past month in the state.

The United States as a whole is also experiencing a spike in cases, mainly due to the highly contagious delta variant. The total number of people hospitalized with the virus in the United States currently crossed 1 lakh on Thursday. This is the highest for eight months. The country has seen a 12% increase in new cases over the past week, but deaths have risen 23%, NBC News reported.

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