Scientists have developed a technology to produce space bricks for lunar habitation
Researchers have developed a simple manufacturing process for creating strong, safe brick structures on the moon.
Over the past decades, the pace of development of space exploration technologies has noticeably accelerated. This is due not only to the growing interest of scientists in the mysteries of the Universe, but also to the limited resources on Earth, which are rapidly depleting, as well as the approaching overpopulation of the planet..
Colonization of the Moon and other planets is the best option for solving such problems..
Currently, sending 1 kg of payload into space costs about $ 10 thousand, which is an excessively high price for building materials..
Therefore, researchers began to actively explore ways to construct buildings from available materials on site. A team from the Indian Institute of Science has developed a safe way to produce eco-friendly, durable bricks under microgravity conditions that can be used to build housing on the lunar surface.
For the manufacture of «space bricks» they first mixed the regolith simulator with the bacteria Sporosarcina pasteurii, a guar bean gum, and then added the urea-containing components, calcium. In the process of vital activity, microorganisms processed urea and calcium into crystals of calcium carbonate, which precipitates when interacting with guar gum and acts as a framework for the residual lunar rock, increasing the strength of the material.
According to scientists, such bricks can be of any shape, are easy to process, and allow complex structures to be erected on the moon without the need for additional fasteners. In the future, they plan to automate the production process and increase the strength of the material so that it can withstand higher loads and impacts..
In addition to making building materials, researchers have also developed technologies that allow moon dust to be used to generate electricity. and oxygen.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Indian Institute of Science