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Started by Recusant, September 19, 2021, 01:47:52 AM
QuoteThe University of Manchester has developed a "cosmic concrete" called AstroCrete to make the colonization of Mars cost effective. The material is more durable than typical concrete and can function longer in Mars' challenging environment.The material is composed of an unlikely and slightly unsavory combination of sweat, tears, urine and a protein from human blood. The protein works to bind the other ingredients together so that the tough material can adequately hold together on Mars' soil.AstroCrete has an overall strength of up to 25 Megapascals. The new material's strength was multiplied by 300 when researchers mixed urea (contained in urine, sweat, and tears) into its recipe. Some of the AstroCrete tested was shown to be stronger than normal concrete.Dr. Aled Roberts, a research fellow at The University of Manchester who helped create the material, said that "The new technique holds considerable advantages over many other proposed construction techniques on the moon and Mars.""Scientists have been trying to develop viable technologies to produce concrete-like materials on the surface of Mars, but we never stopped to think that the answer might be inside us all along.""It is exciting that a major challenge of the space age may have found its solution based on inspirations from medieval technology."[Continues . . .]
QuoteLiving on the harsh environments of the Moon and Mars will require new architectural ideas.A project out of NASA's Ames Research Center is investigating an innovative way of making future space habitats: Grow them.The myco-architecture initiative is prototyping technologies made specifically from fungi and their unseen underground threads known as mycelia."Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle — carrying our homes with us on our backs – a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs," said Dr. Lynn Rothschild, the principal investigator on the myco-architecture project.To lighten the cargo load, the myco-architecture team is suggesting a more flexible and greener approach that leaves a lot of the building materials at home."Instead, we can harness mycelia to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there," said Rothschild.[Continues . . .]