Just don’t think this is a joke: an innovative study by scientists from the University of Manchester is published in the serious scientific publication Materials Today Bio.
Colonization of Mars may begin quite soon, and the question of how to build up the planet is still open. Sending a single brick to Mars will cost about $ 2 million. And this means that it is unrealistic to carry building materials from the Earth. Manchester researchers propose to use to create materials that are produced by the astronauts themselves, according to the Daily Mail.
The base could be Martian soil, and human serum albumin, a protein found in blood plasma, could act as a binder, a kind of glue. The addition of urine, sweat and tears would further increase the strength of the concrete: according to the researchers, such an astrocrite is 300% stronger than regular concrete. “Scientists have been trying for a long time to develop viable technologies for producing concrete-like materials on the surface of Mars, and we thought that perhaps the answer was within us all this time,” the study authors say.
Scientists have calculated that the construction of 1 square meter of a one-story house may require 200 meters of concrete. At the same time, a crew of six astronauts during a two-year mission to Mars can produce more than 1000 square meters of high-strength astrocrite. “Our calculations show that each astronaut could create enough living space to support another astronaut”, - the researchers write.
Another interesting solution was proposed last year by employees of the Singapore University of Technology and Design: in their opinion, chitin, a substance contained in fish scales and mushrooms, can be used for streetwear. It is one of the most abundant organic polymers on Earth, and when mixed with Martian soil, it can be a strong enough material for making shelters. Chitin can be obtained by bioprocessing organic waste with insects or fungi that can be grown on farms.