Space Certification Program

Paragon Space Development Corporation® is Newest Space Foundation Certification Program Partner

Written by: developer

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.”

About Paragon
Paragon provides environmental controls for extreme and hazardous environments. It designs, builds, tests and operates premier life support systems and leading thermal control products for astronauts, contaminated water divers and extreme environment adventurers, as well as for unmanned space and terrestrial applications.

Its four major programs include:

  • design, analyze and manufacture of the tubing for the environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV); 
  • Paragon Commercial Crew Transport-Air Revitalization System (CCT-ARS), a turnkey life support system built to meet or exceed NASA human flight safety standards; 
  • program thermal lead for the Constellation Space Suit System; 
  • the Paragon Dive System, (developed for the U.S. Navy, it protects divers working in contaminated waters and is derived from our space suit expertise).

Founded in 1993, Paragon is a woman-owned small business headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., with additional offices in Houston, Texas, and Denver, Colo. See more at

About Space Certification™
Products and services that display the Space Certification™ seal are guaranteed to have stemmed from or been dramatically improved by technologies originally developed for space exploration or to have significant impact in teaching people about the value of space utilization. Developed and administered by the Space Foundation, the world’s foremost advocate for all sectors of the space industry, the Space Certification program serves three purposes:

  • Providing a unique marketing edge for Space Certification partners
  • Demonstrating to the public how space technologies now improve life on Earth
  • Making space knowledge more interesting and accessible to everyone

There are three classifications of Space Foundation Certified Products:

  • Certified Technology Products – Products or services that directly result from space technology or space program development or advances in space technology
  • Certified Educational Products – Products used in educational environments to stimulate interest in and knowledge about space
  • Certified Imagination Products – Entertainment products, games or toys that increase interest in and excitement for space and inspire new generations to take an active interest in space

Space Certification products and services have been scrutinized by the Space Foundation, which works closely with NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and other organizations engaged in space research and development to identify and validate that they are eligible for and deserving of recognition. See more about Space Certification here.

This article is part of Space Watch: December 2012 (Volume: 11, Issue: 12).