NASA awards contract for moon mission tech
By Catrin Jones30 November 2022
NASA has awarded ICON, developers of construction technologies that advance humanity, a US$57.2 million contract to develop construction technologies that could help build infrastructures such as landing pads, habitats, and roads on the lunar surface.
US-based ICON will work with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, US, under STMD’s Moon to Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technologies (MMPACT) project. NASA will also partner with industry, government, and academic institutions under the same project.
NASA says that the award is a continuation of ICON’s work under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) dual-use contract with the US Air Force, partly funded by NASA. The new NASA SBIR Phase III award will support the development of ICON’s Olympus construction system, designed to use local resources on the Moon and Mars as building materials.
“In order to explore other worlds, we need innovative new technologies adapted to those environments and our exploration needs,” says Niki Werkheiser, director of technology maturation in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).
“Pushing this development forward with our commercial partners will create the capabilities we need for future missions.”