If Elon Musk really wants to build an outpost on Mars for humans to live and work in, visiting astronauts will have to literally put their blood, sweat and tears — and even urine — into them. Might have to pay.
Transporting building materials to the Red Planet would be extremely expensive and impractical, but scientists at the University of Manchester in England believe they may have found a solution.
In the results of a study recently published in Materials Today Bio, scientists found that by mixing a normal blood plasma protein called human serum albumin with a urea waste product excreted in urine, sweat and tears, and then mixing it with fake moonshine. By making or mars material, they were able to make a substance stronger than concrete.
The team of scientists has called its invention astrocrete, and believes the method could be an important step toward future Mars exploration that could see humans living and working on a distant planet.
Dr. Aled Roberts, who was part of the University of Manchester team that worked on the research, told the university eureka alert The publication that the new technology appears to offer an improvement on earlier ideas for building buildings in distant environments from Earth.
“Scientists are trying to develop viable technologies to produce materials like concrete on the surface of Mars, but we never gave up thinking that the answer may lie in us,” Roberts said. Noting how animal blood was once used to bind mortars, he said: “It is exciting that a major challenge of the Space Age has found a solution to this, based on inspiration from medieval technology.”
During the two-year Mars mission, a crew of six astronauts will be able to produce more than half a ton of astrocrete that can be used for sandbags or regolith bricks, scientists said.
NASA is eyeing the 2030s for the first crewed mission to Mars, but it will be a relatively short journey to test a number of systems, including transportation to safely return astronauts from such a distant place. Will be
In other words, it may be a while before we see an astronaut passing water into a space-based cement mixer to build a shelter, but research from scientists at the University of Manchester is certainly a fascinating breakthrough that thinks May well change how to build our first construction site on another planet.