Human beings are known for a myriad of different things, but most importantly, they are known for getting better on a consistent basis. This ambitious tendency of ours has already fetched us some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a rather unique member of this group. The main reason why technology’s credentials are so anomalous is based upon its skill-set, which was unprecedented enough to guide us towards a reality that we couldn’t have imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we take up a closer look, it should become clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired by the way we utilized those skills across a real-world environment. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and consequentially, kickstarted a tech revolution. This revolution, as we discovered, will go on to scale up the human experience from conceivable direction, but even after achieving such a monumental feat, technology will somehow continue to bring all the right goods to the table. The same has turned more and more evident in recent times, and assuming everything goes as it is envisioned, NASA’s latest decision will only make that trend bigger and better moving forward.
NASA has officially awarded iCON, a construction tech company that rose to popularity on the back of its 3D printed homes, a contract to develop full-fledged habitat systems on the moon, as well as on the mars. Valued at around $57.2 million, the contract is understood to be in continuation of a previous Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) dual-use contract that the company had with the U.S. Air Force, except the new contract will bolster iCON’s focus on a specific “Project Olympus,” an ambitious plan to build structures on the moon and Mars using in-situ resources. Also, as per the freshly-agreed terms, iCON will do a bigger chunk of its job alongside NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and it will do so under an agency venture called the “Moon to Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technologies” project. But how will the whole thing work from a more practical standpoint? Well, the company is planning to rope in lunar regolith and bring its hardware and software into space to develop construction approaches that can best function in the cold and low-gravity atmosphere of the moon.
“To change the space exploration paradigm from ‘there and back again’ to ‘there to stay,’ we’re going to need robust, resilient, and broadly capable systems that can use the local resources of the Moon and other planetary bodies,” ICON CEO, Jason Ballard said in a statement.
The contract adds another feather to an already-loaded iCON’s cap. A snapshot of the company’s exponential growth talks to how it raised $207 million last August before closing another round of $185 million just six months later. Going by the available details, iCON’s last funding bumped up its valuation to a whopping $2 billion, and with esteemed entities like NASA now looking to be its partner, the company can very well hope for more lucrative horizons moving forward.