There is a renewed focus on outer space, which has become a new frontier for humanity to be conquered. While several nations are sending missions into space – as far as Mars – colonizing either the moon or Mars is understandably difficult. In addition to logistical problems, there are practical problems. For example, shipping a brick to Mars can cost more than $ 2 million. That makes building housing complexes incredibly expensive. However, scientists at the University of Manchester, England, have found a way to overcome this problem. They created a concrete-like material from Martian dust mixed with the blood, sweat and tears of astronauts.
Astronauts will literally give their blood, sweat, and tears to make humanity a multi-planetary species. The study says that a protein from human blood plasma, when mixed with a compound from urine, sweat, or tears, can form a biocomposite with lunar or Martian dust to produce something stronger than concrete. They say it would be suitable for construction in alien environments.
The study was published in Materials Today Bio. Scientists showed that the protein – human serum albumin – could act as a binding agent for the soil available on the Moon or Mars. They named the resulting material AstroCrete. It has an impressive strength of up to 25 MPa, which is roughly the same as that of normal concrete.
Interestingly, the researchers also discovered that the material, when combined with urea – a biological waste found in human urine, tears, and sweat – increased its strength by 300 percent to 40 MPa.
Dr. Aled Roberts, from the university who worked on the project, said her method was vastly advantageous over many others. “Scientists have tried to develop workable technologies to produce concrete-like materials on the surface of Mars, but we have never stopped thinking that the answer could be within us all along,” he said in a report on the website of. quoted The University of Manchester.
A two-year mission of a crew of six astronauts on the surface of Mars can produce 500 kg of AstroKreta, the scientists said.
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