Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON, an Austin-based construction technologies company pioneering in construction-scale 3D printing, will discuss how 3D printing is an essential part of humanity's toolkit to go to the Moon and Mars to stay.
Large-scale 3D printing technology has many applications on Earth, and today we're seeing an increase in research and development for off-world construction. ICON has been awarded a NASA-funded research contract to begin development of an off-world construction system, Project Olympus, to support future exploration of the Moon and beyond.
ICON has also been awarded a subcontract supporting NASA's Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA). They will build a 3D-printed habitat, known as Mars Dune Alpha, at Johnson Space Center that will house three different crews of four for simulated one-year missions to Mars beginning in fall of 2022. Research from the Mars Dune Alpha habitat will be used by NASA to inform risk and resource trades to support crew health and performance while living on Mars during an extended duration mission.