Louisiana Company Instrumental in Mars Rover’s Flight
Did you know that when the Mars Rover Perseverance was descending onto the surface of Mars, there was a little bit of Louisiana being used in the process? Well, to be clear, a Louisiana-made product was being used to help the rover land softly on the surface of the red planet.
That product is called hydrazine. It's basically rocket fuel and since 1953 that rocket fuel has come from one place, Lake Charles Louisiana. The product is currently made by Lonza, a specialty chemical plant. Now those of you who have been around for a few years might know the company as Olin and before that, it was Arch Chemical.
Regardless of what the name was, NASA depended on it for the fuel to fly their spacecraft. The company has supplied hydrazine for satellites, shuttles, and even missions to the moon. The company was providing space-age propellents to power NASA rockets back in the 60s and 70s. They still provide the fuel the creates the thrust to break free of Earth's orbit today too.
Now, I'm no rocket scientist but I do think that this is a pretty special feather for us to wear in our caps. Just knowing that so many of our nation's milestones achieved in space or through the space program can be directly or indirectly linked to talented scientists and industrial workers who produce the fuel to fly right here in our own backyard.
So the next time you look up and see the International Space Station zipping by overhead or the next time you log in and see what the Mars Rover Perservearance is up to just know that without a little love and a lot of power from Louisiana none of those sights would be possible.
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