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Quality NASA Engineering works to Prevent Mining Tragedies

Here, at Controlled Environment Equipment we love all things engineering. Sure, our air-pollution control systems help keep food and beverages safe, and our client's employees even safer. But, we can't help but to give a nod to good science.

Read more to see how NASA is helping other industries breathe easy.

NASA Adapts Space Technology, Helping Trapped Miners Breathe Easy

Last month, NASA announced that technology developed to safeguard the air-supply of astronauts in space has been adapted to protect miners who may find themselves trapped underground.

According to Science Daily, the engineering development unit controls carbon dioxide, humidity, trace contamination, air circulation and cooling with an air-revitalization system that recycles and purifies air by using a series of scrubbers, filters and catalysts.

The air-locked metal refuge chambers contain food, water and communication abilities to help miners survive as they await rescue.

NASA and Mining Firms Invest in the Future of Miner Safety by Adapting Space Travel Technology

After the amazing rescue of 33 Chilean miners in 2010, mining firms have invested more resources into technologies that can prevent future tragic situations. In 2010, NASA invested $1.5 million of American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funds in Paragon Space Development Corporation to cultivate a commercial use for the refuge chambers used in the harsh space environment.

NASA originally designed the chamber to facilitate safe commercial transportation concepts and human spaceflight. NASA recognized a commercial opportunity and asked Paragon to sign on.

Mining: A New Beginning

After creating several prototypes and engineering a working design the product was licensed to Mine Shield LLC of Lancaster, Ky. The refuge chamber will primarily be implemented in American coalmines.

Rejuvenation of American Innovation

“This is a great example of NASA investment fostering entrepreneurial activity in other markets,” said Phil McAlister, director of NASA’s Commercial Space Development in Washington, D.C. “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.”

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