ICON, a recently started Austin-based startup, became already famous for the 3D-printing of houses. Now they launched a project called Project Olympus. This project plans to build a 3D house in the space. After the success of this venture, human beings can visit the Moon and Mars.
“From the very founding of ICON, we’ve been thinking about off-world construction. It’s a surprisingly natural progression if you are asking about the ways additive construction and 3D printing can create a better future for humanity,” ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard said as a statement.
“I am confident that learning to build on other worlds will also provide the necessary breakthroughs to solve housing challenges we face in this world,” Ballard said. “These are mutually reinforcing endeavors.” This huge project will also get support from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). ICON recently made a contract with U.S Air Force to expand 3D printing technology.
According to the Austin Business Journal, these four years deal worth comes around $14.55 million. NASA is also contributing 15% to this mission. The space agency is working with the help of the Artemis program of crewed lunar exploration. This can help to create a long term human presence on the moon by the end of this year.
Extensive use of lunar resources like water ice and moon dirt is also required to fulfill the journey of this mission. SBIR recently announced that ICON would join with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. They tested various types of printing technologies using lunar soil. “We want to increase the technology readiness level and test systems to prove it would be feasible to develop a large-scale 3D printer that could build infrastructure on the moon or Mars,” Corky Clinton, associate director of Marshall’s Science and Technology Office, said in a NASA statement.
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