In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)

Paragon has established itself as a key contributor in the field of lunar ISRU over the last decade. The technology development for Paragon’s flagship “system of systems” has been funded by multiple NASA contracts. Our active ISRU programs target volatile mining in lunar polar craters, water purification, and electrolysis to generate rocket propellant and breathable air for astronauts.

ISRU-derived water purification and Hydrogen Oxygen Production (IHOP)
Paragon’s flagship ISRU system, IHOP, is funded by a NASA NextSTEP-2 In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technology contract. IHOP combines the critical ISRU functions of water purification and electrolysis into an integrated system optimized for lunar water processing and capable of the same on Mars.

ISRU Collector of Ice in a Cold Lunar Environment (ICICLE)
Paragon’s ICICLE technology is a cold trap that utilizes a regulated freeze distillation process along with optimized internal geometry for high water collection efficiency and low contaminant retention from upstream water extraction sources. ICICLE provides one-step collection and coarse purification of extracted water in environments including the Moon, Mars, and asteroids, making it an essential component in any water-based ISRU architecture.

Integrated ISRU System Testing
Integrated systems testing is critical for developing robust and reliable ISRU technologies. In order for a functional ISRU architecture to be successful, many elements from multiple manufacturers and suppliers must work together. As an important step in accomplishing this goal, Paragon routinely pursues integrated testing opportunities with other ISRU technology developers.

Lunar Dust Mitigation
In order to extract resources on the Moon, it’s necessary to contend with lunar dust. Lunar regolith is abrasive and electrostatically charged, resulting in a problematic tendency to disrupt the function of lunar surface hardware. Paragon has been working mitigate this issue. Our NASA contract for the Modal Optimized Vibration dust Eliminator (MOVE) developed a solution for active dust mitigation for thermal radiators.

Cryogenic Propellant Storage Solutions
Through the combination of two of our key technologies, Ellipsoidal Propellant Tank (EPT) and Cryogenic Encapsulating Launch Shroud and Insulated Upper Stage (CELSIUS), Paragon has developed an optimized solution for cryogenic fluid storage. This expandable soft-goods approach allows for small-stowage volume, high usable volume solutions to cryogenic fluid storage that can be deployed in any space environment.

Lunar ISRU Architecture Development
In 2018, Paragon contributed to a ISRU community-wide study exploring the development of a commercial lunar propellant architecture. This initial effort spanned over 25 organizations, including NASA, Colorado School of Mines (CSM), and Honeybee Robotics. Paragon continues to pro-actively conduct concept and architecture development studies, including research into future ISRU consumable users’ needs and how to meet them, in order to be on the cutting edge of the ISRU processing chain and technology advancement.