BIG has partnered with ICON, a developer of advanced construction technologies, and with SEArch+, to begin designing Project Olympus, a sustainable lunar habitat that will be the first human foray into extra-terrestrial construction. Project Olympus includes robust structures that provide better thermal, radiation, and micrometeorite protection than metal or inflatable habitats can offer.
In partnership with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, ICON will test lunar soil simulant with various processing and printing technologies. The tests will help design, develop, and demonstrate prototype elements for a possible future full-scale additive construction system that could print infrastructure on the moon.
“Building humanity’s first home on another world will be the most ambitious construction project in human history and will push science, engineering, technology, and architecture to literal new heights,” said Jason Ballard, Co-founder and CEO of ICON, in a release. “NASA’s investment in space-age technologies like this can not only help to advance humanity’s future in space, but also to solve very real, vexing problems we face on Earth. We are honored to begin our research and development on ICON’s ‘Project Olympus’ and the ‘Olympus Construction System.’”
Project Olympus is BIG’s second “space architecture” project following Mars Science City, currently being developed in Dubai as a prototype for exploring the building technologies that humanity would need to live and thrive on Mars.