A Texas-based company is headed to the moon!
Austin-based homebuilder ICON signed a $57 million contract with NASA to build on the moon, KVUE reports. The contract was awarded under NASA's Phase III Small Business Innovation Research program, which will now allow ICON to use $57 million to build their Olympus system.
"ICON’s Olympus system is intended to be a multi-purpose construction system primarily using local lunar and Martian resources as building materials to further the efforts of NASA as well as commercial organizations to establish a sustained lunar presence," the company said in a news release.
Per KVUE, ICON will work with the NASA Artemis program to:
- Use lunar regolith samples brought back from Apollo missions, in addition to other regolith simulants, to see their mechanical behavior in lunar gravity
- Bring advanced hardware and software into space through a lunar gravity simulation flight
- Create results to inform future lunar construction approaches for the space community
- Establish critical infrastructure necessary for a sustainable lunar economy and habitation
All in all, ICON's contract with NASA marks "humanity's first construction on another world," which ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard calls "a pretty special achievement." The company plans to use the native materials found on the moon "to create a livable and sustainable civilization."