Some of Paragon’s historical projects are described below.
RECORD-BREAKING NEAR-SPACE DIVE
Paragon’s StratEx team successfully designed, integrated and launched a stratospheric space dive system that pushed the limits of humans in space, fulfilling one man’s unique mission to encourage future generations to push even further and explore new worlds at the edges of the unknown.
ORION, Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)
Paragon supported the overall Orion vehicle-level schematic, thermal analyses, flight radiator design, and cabin computational fluid dynamics (CFD)/ventilation. Orion-2, the first crewed vehicle, is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in the late 2016 timeframe.
NASA Constellation Space Suit
Paragon is partnered with Oceaneering Space Systems to build an exploration EVA space suit which will be demonstrated at ISS and will enable NASA’s future exploration missions. Paragon is leading the thermal design and analysis effort, and is providing key components for the portable life support system.
Nitrous Oxide Fuel Blend (NOFBX)
Innovative Space Propulsion Systems (ISPS) is a partnership between Odyssey Space Research and Firestar Technologies. They are developing a propulsion experiment using Nitrous Oxide Fuel Blend (NOFBX) to be operated while attached externally to the International Space Station (ISS). NOFBX is a proprietary, non-toxic monopropellant being developed by Firestar for spaceflight. The integrated NOFBX assembly will be flown on a Space X launch vehicle for delivery to the ESA Columbus External Payload Facility (EPF) where it will remain for up to one (1) year. After expenditure of the propellant, the NOFBX will be disposed of on-orbit at the discretion of ISS. Paragon has been working with Odyssey to provide thermal analysis, manufacturing of the required tubing, clean room assembly, and system integration.
Modular Air Revitalization System (MARS)
Paragon is worked to adapt its previously developed Commercial Crew Transport-Air Revitalization System (CCT-ARS) to the life support needs for mine refuge alternatives (RAs) that are utilized in coal mining emergencies. Paragon worked with the company, MineShield, to tailor the system to their RAs, and to help retrofit existing RAs for anticipated certification standard updates.
Commercial Crew Development Program
Paragon developed Commercial Crew Transport-Air Revitalization System (CCT-ARS) under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program, phase 1. This modular life support system removes CO2, humidity and trace contaminants from cabin air, and provides air circulation and cooling.
The discovery of a trajectory allowing for an opportunity to send a space vehicle from Earth, have it fly around Mars, and return to Earth in a relatively short time period, on the order of 500 days (Earth-Mars free-return mission) enables a unique opportunity for mankind. Preliminary analyses showed that the required technology to facilitate such a manned voyage is, or will be in place in time for the next launch opportunity in January of 2018. Paragon supported the Inspiration Mars Foundation and Project by performing all required analyses, generation of data products, and design of an Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and ECLSS Technology Development Unit (ETDU) that sufficiently demonstrated the required technologies to be applied to a 500‐day manned mission to fly around Mars and back.
Small Payload Quick Return (SPQR)
This innovative program provides passive thermal control for payload sample return from ISS. Such technology would allow for the SPQR vehicle to return refrigerated or frozen biological samples from ISS to Earth on-demand. This capability would be useful to NASA engineers monitoring the status and health of the ISS life support systems, as well as to science experiments utilizing the microgravity environment of ISS. Paragon has designed and tested the thermal control canister, which uses a non-toxic, non-flammable, phase-change material.
Paragon has teamed with Thin Red Line Aerospace to mature its Ultra-High Performance Vessel (UHPV), an inflatable habitat for use in space. UHPV has superior performance and reproducibility compared to other inflatable structures. Through this program, analysis tools were built and verified through 9 tests with prediction vs. experimental burst pressure results agreeing within a maximum deviation of 11%, and the failure mechanism and location being correctly predicted each time. This allows for potentially reduced safety factors now placed upon inflatable structures that are now well above metallic and composite safety factors, thereby making the inflatable structures mass advantages even higher while garnering the packing factor advantages desires for space flight.
Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator
Paragon supported the Advanced Thermal Systems project onsite at NASA-Johnson Space Center as a subcontractor to Jacobs Sverdrup. As part of this project, performed design, analysis, and testing of the Contaminant Insensitive Sublimator (CIS). The CIS is a compact, lightweight, self-regulating component for rejecting heat in the vacuum of space.
Excalibur Almaz (EA) Crew Capsule and Service Module
EA is developing a commercial vehicle capable of taking passengers and cargo into orbit and eventually further into space. Paragon leads the life support and thermal control system design, manufacture and integration into EA’s Crew Capsule and Service Module.
Paragon supported Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) on their COTS vehicle design (Dragon) in the areas of thermal and environmental control. Dragon will provide transportation of cargo and eventually crew to Low Earth Orbit.
FALCON/BLACKSWIFT Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle,
Lockheed Martin Skunkworks
Integrated thermal modeling and structural analysis of the leading edge and liquid H2 tank, plus thermal protection system and liquid nitrogen environmental control system design. In 2004, Skunkworks named Paragon its Small Business Supplier Of The Year.
Concept Exploration and Refinement,
MIT-Draper, Andrews, Lockheed Martin
Paragon performed on three CE&R teams. Responsibilities included ECLSS, thermal control, and human factors design and analysis, as well as the Andrews Space CEV mockup design and interior fabrication.
Centennial Challenges, NASA
Risk assessment and cost analysis for NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, including the Human Orbital Vehicle, and the Lunar Robotic Lander Challenge.
SPACEHAB Module Environmental Control and Thermal Analysis, SPACEHAB
Providing thermal and Environmental Control System analysis of the SPACEHAB Module in support of Shuttle and International Space Station missions. Upgrade and validation of environmental and thermal control computer models, Fixed Grapple Bar and Flight Support Equipment thermal analysis and interface definition.
Phoenix Mission, University of Arizona
Program management and engineering support for the University of Arizona’s Phoenix mission to find life on Mars.
Rocketplane Suborbital Vehicle ECLSS and Thermal Systems, Rocketplane Limited
Development, test and integration of ECLSS, plus vehicle thermal and structural analysis.
Bigelow Genesis Pressure Control System, Bigelow Aerospace
Paragon developed and delivered three flight valve systems:
- Launch Vent Assembly
- Inflation Valve Assembly
- Pressure Relief Valve Assembly.
Hardware was successfully utilized on long-duration orbital test flights launched in 2006 and 2007.
Portable Life Support System, NASA Johnson Space Center
Under a Crew, Robotics And Vehicle Equipment contract, Paragon teamed with Oceaneering Space Systems to develop schematics of a Portable Life Support System that will function in microgravity, on the moon and on Mars.
Alternate Access to Station Risk Assessment and ECLSS,
Wrote risk management plan, identified risks, and established and tracked risk mitigation plans for the development of an unmanned vehicle for cargo re-supply to the International Space Station. Also developed environmental control system design, including active and passive thermal systems.
Life Science Experiments, SPACEHAB
Experiment hardware and life support design, production, and integration for three life science experiments (fish, ants, and bees) on STS-107. Designed, tested, integrated, and flew an aquatic habitat to ISS for over 18 months containing 6 animal species (2 months, 12 days from contract signing to flight).
T-Cell Growth System, University of Arizona
Paragon has completed biological, vibration and centrifuge testing of its T-Cell Growth System for use on the Shuttle and ISS under subcontract to the University of Arizona for its NASA grant. Designed and built clinostats compatible with existing laboratory equipment.
Airship Transportation System, CargoLifter
A project to develop the world’s largest airship for cargo transportation: Human interface and human factors design, systems engineering and development of operations, operations department support, cockpit design and simulation development.
Mars Greenhouse Experiment Module, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
A sealed plant growth chamber designed for deployment on Mars: Designed the plant growth chamber, including the atmospheric control system. Paragon also developed a molecular-level mass balance and flow model for hydrogen, carbon and oxygen throughout the plants’ life cycles.
Closed Ecological Experiment Facility, Toyo Engineering
Gas Control and Analysis system design for the Closed Ecological Experiment Facility (CEEF) in Japan. CEEF is a human-rated regenerative life support system with controlled plant growth chambers and an animal/human habitat.
The first commercial experiment on ISS. Paragon designed, fabricated, tested, and prepared for flight in only 2 months and 12 days from contract through launch on a Russian Progress vehicle. This work was the pathfinder for all future commercial projects involving the RSA/Energia, and SPACEHAB.
The first animals in space to perform complete life-cycles, from birth, to adulthood, to procreation and birth, did so during a four-month experiment on the Mir Space Station. Experiments during four space flights (shuttle, ISS, Mir) using our Autonomous Biological System (ABS) bore several other firsts: the first aquatic angiosperms to be grown in space; the first completely bioregenerative life support system in space; and, among the first gravitational ecology experiments.
The first multigenerational animal experiment in space, is also the longest microgravity animal experiment – over 18 months on ISS – using Paragon’s ABS.
The first full motion, long duration video (4 months, 60 total minutes) of plant and animal growth on orbit was accomplished with a Paragon-designed digital camera system using a Paragon-specified Sony DCR-7 digital camera with custom EPROM.
The first automated heliostat designed to illuminate targets below the level of the reflector, and the first such heliostat designed to illuminate a range of targets. Also, the first heliostat reflector system approved for overhead use in a public building.