The development of technologies to construct landing pads, habitats, and highways on the lunar surface is a priority for NASA.
The US space agency has given ICON a $57.2 million contract to develop new technologies that will help people live and work on other planets, which is exactly what is needed to overcome their particular obstacles.
“We need cutting-edge new technology that are tailored to those settings and our exploratory demands if we are to explore other worlds,” Niki Werkheiser, the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s head of technology maturation, said (STMD).
‘Pushing this development forward with our commercial partners will create the capabilities we need for future missions,’
The contract runs through 2028 and has a value of $57.2 million (£46.8 million). The award will build on ICON’s commercial activities and other work with Nasa.
In 2018, ICON constructed the first 3D-printed home ever built in the US. Since then, the company has delivered entire communities of these homes in both the US and Mexico.
The business began Project Olympus in 2020, believing that their technology may aid in the construction of vital infrastructure such as highways, homes, and landing pads on the moon and Mars.
ICON has already constructed Mars Dune Alpha, a 1,700 square foot replica of a Martian habitat that NASA will use to prepare astronauts for extended space travel.
Ultimately, Nasa hopes to establish a base on the moon and send astronauts to Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s.