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NASA awards ICON US $57.2 million contract for lunar surface construction system

ICON’s vision for Olympus, the multi-purpose, ISRU-based lunar construction system. Credit: ICON

Edinburgh / Austin, Texas, 30 November 2022. – Advanced construction technologies and large-scale 3D printing company ICON, has been awarded a US $57.2 million contract as part of Phase III of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, ICON said. The award builds on NASA’s and the Department of Defense’s previous funding for ICON’s Project Olympus. Under this project, the company carried out research and development of space-based construction systems to support lunar exploration and beyond. 

The Olympus multi-purpose construction system primarily uses local lunar and Martian resources as building materials. ICON aims to pioneer methods and technologies to solve challenges like affordable housing and living on other planets. 

The company will support NASA’s Artemis program with its advanced hardware and software during a lunar gravity simulation flight. ICON will  also determine lunar regolith’s mechanical behavior to advance the future lunar construction of landing pads, blast shields and roads. Sustained lunar presence requires a robust infrastructure including thermal, radiation, and micrometeorite protection. The company is planning to prioritize the use of in-situ raw materials found on the Moon. 

ICON has been utilizing its 3D printing technology for homebuilding on our planet since 2018. The firm has delivered 3D-printed homes in the US and Mexico, barracks for the US Army and Air Force, as well as the Texas Military Department.

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