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DARPA Selects ICON For LunA-10 Lunar Architecture Study

By ICON Team

Robotic Construction Company Among Awardees Selected to Chart Path & Create Framework for Lunar Economy in Next Ten Years

AUSTIN, TX, December 5, 2023 ICON, a leader in advanced construction technologies and large-scale 3D printing, announced today that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected the company to take part in the agency’s 10-year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) capability study. ICON is among a group of 14 performers that DARPA selected through a competitive solicitation process.

DARPA, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense founded in 1958, is one of the most storied research institutions in history. They are responsible for seeding many technologies we rely on in our daily lives, from GPS to the Internet to mRNA vaccines, and military capabilities like stealth technology. The agency is known for developing breakthrough ideas that disrupt or massively accelerate technology roadmaps.

LunA-10 aims to convene a group of companies within the space industry whose products and services collectively represent the foundational elements of a burgeoning lunar economy. The seven-month study will aim to create a framework for interoperable commercial lunar architecture that will help to guide lunar research and investment over the next ten years.

“It is inspiring to see DARPA doing what it does best - moving fast on hard problems and catalyzing commercial innovation for the good of the country and humanity,” said ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard. “ICON is honored to be selected as part of the LunA-10 study to accelerate economic vibrancy on the Moon.”

ICON’s vision for building on other worlds requires inputs from adjacent technology providers and innovators, from power to communications to mobility providers. Participating in the LunA-10 study puts ICON’s space and off-world R&D team in direct contact with these providers.

“By participating in LunA-10, we can understand what inputs are going to be available, when, at what cost, and in what quantities. Similarly, those same providers will now understand what ICON capabilities they can rely on to enable their capabilities and services in the lunar economy,” said Evan Jensen, ICON’s Vice President of Strategic R&D.

This latest accomplishment complements ICON’s work for research and development on the lunar surface. In 2022, under Phase III of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, ICON was awarded a nearly $60 million contract for ICON’s Project Olympus to research and develop space-based construction systems to support planned exploration of the Moon and beyond. 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.

In 2021, ICON was also awarded a subcontract through Jacobs supporting NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) as part of NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) and delivered the world’s first and only simulated Mars surface 3D-printed habitat. Designed in collaboration with architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, Mars Dune Alpha is located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and will aid in long-duration science missions.

Known for its advanced 3D printing technology for homebuilding on Earth, ICON began its journey to transform construction with the delivery of the first, permitted 3D-printed home in the U.S. in 2018. Since then, the team has delivered communities of 3D-printed homes in the U.S. and Mexico and barracks for women and men who serve with the U.S. Army and Air Force, and the Texas Military Department. ICON’s proprietary robotics, software and materials deliver resilient, energy-efficient homes faster than conventional construction methods with less waste and more design freedom.

For more on ICON’s off-world construction and space-based technology advancements, visit https://www.iconbuild.com/off-...