Picture through University of Manchester

Scientists have been think out of the box in order to lower the estimated construction cost in space, taking anything into account moon dust and 3D printers to inflatable buildings which grow to full size when installed.

Little did they know The cheapest solution is free and may be a little closer to home: body fluids.

For context transporting a pound of objects into space would prevent one about $ 10,000, so the cost of transporting bricks to Mars to build habitats is imaginable. Researchers at the University of Manchester have an idea: why not build the blocks ourselves?

Opportunity to imagine “affordable living” on Mars, they have created a sturdy brick material called “AstroCrete” made from human blood, sweat, tears and urine. The idea is to use the body fluids of astronauts because they would be going into space anyway to do their job.

It’s a poetic concept, Really. “The proverb ‘you can’t get blood from a stone’ is used to describe a mission that is virtually impossible no matter how much force or effort is put in. This phrase fits well with humanity’s first crew mission on Mars, which is probably the most difficult and technically challenging human effort ever.” researcher Aled D.Roberts writes. paper, published Materials today Bio diary.

Although most AstroCrete would come from Mars regolith – a dusty, powdered rock layer from the planet – the team is working to strengthen the brick with human plasma albumin and urea from human sweat, tears and urine. AstroCrete can be printed in 3D directly to Red Planet.

And if you think “It’s embarrassing; removing one component to make it less,” definitely not.

The resulting material it is also said to boast compressive strength “comparable to concrete”.


AstroCrete mixed with Martian and lunar materials. Picture through University of Manchester

Twisted version the researchers estimated how many people would be needed to repair the light bulb, the researchers estimated that the astronaut crew would be able to produce about 1,100 pounds of AstroCrete bricks in two years.

But the team does not stop there. For future iterations, AstroCrete aims to incorporate other “human resources” such as keratin from human hair and nails, collagen from dead skin cells, mucus, and human feces. For now, however, it has to arrest poop. “Unfortunately, due to health and safety issues, we were unable to examine human feces [extraterrestrial regolith biocomposites] in this study, ”the researchers said.

[via Motherboard, images via University of Manchester]

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