Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Technology designed for use by astronauts works to save trapped miners

Date:
September 28, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
A technology designed for use by astronauts in the hazardous environment of space has found a lifesaving use in another dangerous occupation, but this time on Earth, or rather under it: coal mining.

Paragon Space Development Corp. workers move the NASA-funded air revitalization unit into a testing chamber.
Credit: Paragon Space Development Corp.

A technology designed for use by astronauts in the hazardous environment of space has found a lifesaving use in another dangerous occupation, but this time on Earth, or rather under it: coal mining.

Related Articles


Paragon Space Development Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., is providing the air revitalization system it matured under a NASA Space Act Agreement to Mine Shield LLC of Lancaster, Ky., for use in its underground miner refuge chambers. These air-tight metal chambers are used by miners as lifesaving havens when trapped underground, providing air, water and food until rescued.

"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."

In 2010, NASA began to invest in the commercial sector's capability to support transport of crew to and from low Earth orbit. During this initiative through a Space Act Agreement, NASA invested approximately $1.5 million of American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 economic stimulus funds in Paragon to mature its air purifying system.

Astronaut survival in space depends on a continuous source of breathable air. Paragon improved its design, manufactured and tested an engineering development unit that 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.

"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."

Paragon was approached by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration to see if the NASA-developed technology could be used to improve the safety and effectiveness of mine refuge chambers.

For more information about crewed commercial space transportation, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

For more information about Paragon Space Development Corp., visit: http://www.paragonsdc.com/

For more information about Mine Shield LLC, visit: http://www.mineshieldky.com/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Technology designed for use by astronauts works to save trapped miners." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120928093237.htm>.
NASA. (2012, September 28). Technology designed for use by astronauts works to save trapped miners. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120928093237.htm
NASA. "Technology designed for use by astronauts works to save trapped miners." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120928093237.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins