NASA Announces New Partnerships to Develop Space Exploration Technologies

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is partnering with six U.S. companies to develop 10 “tipping point” technologies that have the potential to significantly benefit the commercial space economy and future NASA missions, including lunar lander and deep space rocket engine technologies.

Selections are based on the agency’s third competitive Tipping Point solicitation, and have a combined total award value of approximately $44 million – a significant investment in the U.S. space industry.

A technology is considered at a “tipping point” if investment in a ground or flight demonstration will result in significantly maturing the technology and improving the company’s ability to bring it to market.

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Jane Poynter & World View Making the Stratosphere Accessible

Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum are both veterans of Biosphere 2. (Credit: World View)

TUCSON (PISCES PR) — Jane Poynter is no stranger to big ideas. World View, the Tucson-based stratospheric flight and technology company, is just the latest game-changing venture for Poynter, the biospherian turned entrepreneur/CEO and humanitarian.

Most wouldn’t describe Ms. Poynter’s journey in life as ordinary. Quickly after primary school, Poynter developed an early and insatiable appetite for audacious projects. This gravitational force led her on an international trek of self-exploration and education that concluded with her earning a spot on the eight-person roster of Biosphere 2, a project widely regarded as the first large-scale, terrestrial space colonization experiment.

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NASA Selects US Companies to Advance Space Resource Collection

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2018 (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 10 companies to conduct studies and advance technologies to collect, process and use space-based resources for missions to the Moon and Mars. NASA placed a special emphasis on encouraging the responders to find new applications for existing, terrestrial capabilities that could result in future space exploration capabilities at lower costs.

The practice of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) could increase safety and affordability of future human spaceflight missions by limiting the need to launch supplies, such as oxygen and water from Earth. NASA issued Appendix D of the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP) Broad Agency Announcement on Dec. 4, 2017. With it, the agency sought three areas of work focused on producing propellant and other exploration mission consumables using water from extraterrestrial soils and carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere.

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Paragon Named Finalist for Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Small Business Award


TUCSON, Ariz., October 9, 2017 (Paragon SDC PR) – Paragon Space Development Corporation® has been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Small Business Award by the Arizona Technical Council and Arizona Commerce Authority. This award honors the visionaries of Arizona’s technology ecosystem whose passion and dedication energize Arizona’s rapidly growing technology community.

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NASA Awards $14.3 Million to Small Businesses, Research Institutions to Develop Innovative Technologies

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 19 proposals from American small businesses and research institutions for Phase II of its competitive Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, totaling $14.3 million in awards.

These selections are for the 2016 STTR program, which supports NASA’s future missions into deep space, while also benefiting the U.S. economy. The STTR program stimulates partnerships between small businesses and research institutions by providing awards for cooperative research and development efforts with potential for commercialization.

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SNC Names Paragon as Dream Chaser Supplier

TUCSON, July 19, 2017 (Paragon SDC PR) – Paragon was recently selected by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to provide flight hardware for its Dream Chaser spacecraft. In 2016, NASA selected SNC’s Dream Chaser to transport pressurized and unpressurized cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS) with return and disposal services.

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Paragon SDC Projects Selected for NASA Small Business Funding

Paragon Space Development Corporation will begin developing expandable habitats to outfit pressure vessels in space and an advanced space radiator with the assistance of NASA small business funding.

The space agency has selected the Tucson-based company for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. The contracts, which are worth a maxium of $125,000 apiece over 6 months, include:

  • Expandable Habitat Outfit Structures
  • Controlled Stagnation Radiator

The expandable habitat technology is designed for interior use.

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NASA Selects Propulsion SBIRs & STTRs

NASA LOGOAs I was looking through NASA’s recent small business selection announcement for propulsion-related projects, I have found that the space agency has selected 29 Small Business Innovation Research and 8 Small Business Technology Transfer proposals for funding.

The proposals cover a wide range of areas, including in-space propulsion for CubeSats to technologies for new launch vehicles. Several proposals are also focused on in-space propellant depots.

A list of the selected projects with links to the proposals follows.

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NASA Selects Paragon’s In-space Fuel Depot Tech for SBIR Phase I Award

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TUCSON, Ariz, May 03, 2016 (Pargon SDC PR) – Paragon Space Development Corporation® (Paragon) and partner Thin Red Line Aerospace (TRLA) received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from NASA to provide a unique solution that will extend the life of cryogenic upper stage rockets.

The useful life of a standard upper stage is no more than a few hours. The thermally isolating structure is a key piece to allowing systems to operate for weeks or months on orbit, giving upper stage platforms additional flexibility for payload maneuvering and deployment timing as well as direct use of upper stages for commercial and scientific use.

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NASA Awards Paragon, TTU With STTR Phase I For Spacecraft Wastewater Recycling System

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TUCSON, Ariz., May 02, 2016 ((Paragon SDC PR) – Paragon Space Development Corporation® (Paragon) and partner Texas Tech University (TTU) received a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award from NASA to develop the Integrated Water Recovery Assembly (IRA), a spacecraft wastewater recycling system that will provide the long-term support necessary to explore beyond Earth orbit.

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NASA Selects Paragon for SBIR Phase I Award to Develop Inflatable Shroud

paragonsdcParagon Space Development Corporation has been selected for a NASA contract to begin development work on an inflatable insulating shroud for large cryogenic fuel tanks.

The work would be done with partner Thin Red Line Aerospace under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract. The award is worth a maximum of  $125,000 for a feasibility study lasting six months.

“Successful development results in a low risk, low mass, shroud solution that can be applied to nearly any mission and is especially useful in support of soft or hard sided habitation modules or propellant tanks, including cryogens, to protect them from the thermal and MMOD environments of space,” according to the proposal.

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Paragon Awarded CST-100 Contract

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)
Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

TUCSON, Ariz. (Paragon PR) – Paragon was recently awarded a contract by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to provide services to support their Crew Space Transportation System (CCTS) and Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft. Specifically, Paragon will provide the CST-100 Humidity Control Subassembly (HCS) for cabin atmospheric humidity control.

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Grant Anderson Named President and CEO of Paragon Space Development Corporation

Grant Anderson
Grant Anderson

TUCSON, AZ, Nov. 3, 2014 (Paragon PR) – Just prior to the record-breaking, near space dive by the Paragon StratEx team and Google Executive, Alan Eustace, Paragon’s Board of Directors announced that Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum had resigned from their positions as President and CEO in order to become leaders of World View Enterprises, a space tourism vanguard opportunity incubated within Paragon.

Grant Anderson, former Paragon COO, has since been named Paragon’s new President and CEO while Ron Sable, a member of the Paragon Board of Directors, was elected Chairman of the Paragon Board.

“We are thankful for Jane and Taber’s leadership over the past 21 years as Paragon has grown to be a premier supplier of life support systems and technology and achieved great technical advancements and industry firsts,” said Mr. Sable. “We wish them both the best success in building this ground-breaking new company.”

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Impact of Zero G’s Operational Problems on NASA

Made in Space employees on a Zero G research flight.
Made in Space employees on a Zero G research flight.

As you know, Zero Gravity Corporation provides parabolic flight services to NASA using a modified Boeing 727 aircraft. I asked the folks over at the space agency’s Flight Opportunities Program (FOP), which funds scientific and technical research projects on various vehicles, about what impact the company’s legal and operational problems have had or are having on NASA operations.

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NASA Selects 4 Companies for Flight Opportunities Program

Masten Space Systems' Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs' GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)
Masten Space Systems’ Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs’ GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space. The selection is part of NASA’s continuing effort to foster a viable market for American commercial reusable suborbital platforms that allow testing of new space technologies within Earth’s atmosphere.

The selected companies are:

  • Masten Space Systems, Mojave, California
  • Paragon Space Development Corp., Tucson, Arizona
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Virgin Galactic, New York City

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