Blood, sweat, tears, urine and Mars dust can be a magical formula for creation on the Red Planet.
it’s part of the story, our series Exploring the Red Planet.
It’s fun to sit on Earth and imagine what our future human Mars colonies might look like, but there are plenty of challenges to actually building them. Researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, have come up with a cool idea to make building materials on the Red Planet.
We can’t just pack bags and bags of concrete (and all the water it needs) on a spacecraft going to Mars. it’s very expensive. Scientists suggest what’s on hand instead: dust, urine (or sweat or tears) and astronaut blood.
A study published in the journal Materials Today Bio suggests that space explorers can create a solid-like material by using a protein (human serum albumin) from blood plasma as a binder mixed with dust from the Moon or Mars. The team calls the biocomposite “astrocrete” and says it is as strong as regular concrete.
“Scientists are trying to develop viable technologies to produce concrete-like materials on the surface of Mars, but we never gave up thinking that the answer lies within us,” lead author Aled Roberts said in a statement Monday. could.”
The idea of using animal blood as a binder for mortar goes back at least to medieval times.
Blood isn’t the only bodily fluid scientists are investigating. Add some urea (a waste product that humans produce through urine, sweat, and tears) and AstroCrete becomes even stronger than regular concrete.
The idea of using urine in off-world building materials has been studied before. a different group of researchersTo make a kind of moon concrete.
Blood is a renewable resource. The researchers worked out that six astronauts could produce 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of astrocrete over the course of a two-year mission. The material could potentially be 3D-printed, and could act as a mortar for the sandbags.
AstroCrete may not produce the futuristic, wide-glass habitats we see in science-fiction productions, but it could be a practical and economical solution to the difficult problem of building structures on Mars.