Date: Nov 15, 2012 Source: (
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 15, 2012) - Paragon Space Development Corporation® is now a Space Foundation Space Certification Program Partner and has been authorized to carry the Certified Space Technology™seal. It is being recognized for its Modular Air Revitalization System (MARS).
Designed to be used by astronauts in the hazardous environment of space, the system's technology has found a lifesaving use in another dangerous occupation - this time on Earth or, rather, under it - coal mining.
Paragon is licensing the air revitalization system it matured under a NASA Space Act Agreement to Mine Shield LLC of Lancaster, Ky., for use in its underground mine refuge chambers. These air-tight metal chambers are lifesaving havens for miners trapped underground, providing air, water and food until rescue.
"This is a great example of NASA investment fostering entrepreneurial activity in other markets," said Phil McAlister, director of NASA's Commercial Spaceflight Development in Washington, D.C. "The technology was developed as part of an effort to stimulate the private sector to develop commercial space transportation concepts and enable capabilities for future commercial support of human spaceflight with U.S. taxpayer dollars and Paragon's private investment. The company then found another market for it, leading to the development of a new commercial product and service, which will help save the lives of American miners."
Paragon has taken the air purifying system developed in partnership with NASA and improved its design. The new system controls carbon dioxide, humidity, trace contaminants, airborne particulates, air circulation and cooling. Key elements of this technology could play an important role in the life support systems for future deep space exploration missions. "Another excellent example of space technology transfer to improve life here on Earth," said Kevin C. Cook, Space Foundation director of space awareness programs.
"Our air revitalization system recycles the air by using a series of scrubbers, filters and catalysts that purify the air over and over again," said Taber MacCallum, chief executive officer of Paragon. "The fact that this system, which was developed for human space exploration, has other important applications here on Earth shows how NASA and space exploration energizes American innovation."