What materials can be used to build houses on Mars?

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2020-09-30 13:00:05

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What materials can be used to build houses on Mars? Source:

Marsha constructions n the surface of the Red Planet

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is hopeful that humans will go to Mars in the next ten years. Adapted for long flight ship Starship is already in development, but scientists have not yet decided where exactly will live the first colonists of the Red Planet. After all, if people have to stay there for a long time to conduct research, they will not be able to stay in the capsule of the ship all the time. In 2018, nasa's space agency held a competition for the best project of the Martian dwelling. Participants offered a lot of interesting options and one of the best was Marsha. These houses are cylindrical structures suitable for people. But how to build them, if there is not a single brick on Mars? Since transporting materials for the construction of Martian houses can be very expensive, scientists have begun to look for materials suitable for the construction of buildings right on Mars. In its purest form, they are not, but to create strong houses on an alien planet is not as difficult as it may seem.

Construction on Mars

What materials can be used to build houses on Mars was told in the scientific . The surface of Mars is covered with weathered soil for millions of years, called regolith. To create from it at least some semblance of bricks, water is needed, and its obvious sources scientists have not yet been able to find. In addition, now people can form materials suitable for the construction of houses only in earthly conditions. And on Mars there are completely different rules, so scientists need to come up with a way to create "artificial stones" and their analogues.

The surface of Mars through the eyes of the Curiosity spacecraft

Recently, scientists from Singapore have proposed an interesting solution to this problem. They hypothesized that The Martian regolith could be made more malleable if you mix it with chitosan. This is the name of the substance that can be obtained from chitin,which is the main component of the shells of shrimp, crabs and some insects. Hitosan can be obtained by removing the so-called acel from chitin, which gives it strength. Scientists believe that chitosan can be mined directly on Mars, but to contain there insects and crustaceans can be problematic. However, containers with this component can be sent to a distant planet inside cargo ships. They will obviously be lighter than bricks.

Khotozan extracted from the chitin cover of shrimp similar creatures

At home on Mars made of insects

To test whether the chitosan and regolith mixture was really suitable for building houses, the scientists conducted an experiment. Since they do not have soil from Mars, they used material with similar properties. The process of creating a "Martian" building material consists of only two steps:

  • Extracted from the chitin cover of animals chitosan dissolves in one percent acetic acid;
  • The resulting solution is mixed with regolith in a ratio somewhere between 1:75 and 1:100 - so the resulting material acquires the best properties.

The resulting material was called biolite. From it, scientists tried to create a miniature version of the aforementioned Martian house Marsha. However, it was not created from scratch. At first, three components were printed on a 3D printer, and then glued together with biolite. It turned out very good, so we can assume that the houses of future colonists of Mars will look like this.

The researchers also found that it is possible to create working tools from biolite. They put it in a form in the form of a wrench. After solidifying, the instrument was able to spin the M5 bolt, which is most commonly used in space technology. Also from the biolite was to make figures in the form of an astronaut and a cube from the computer game Portal.

Wrench from biolite

In another experiment, the new material was used to fill a hole in a metal pipe. Scientists made a hole in the 12.5-millimeter pipe and smeared it with biolite. He filled a hole and firmly fixed himself in his place. Scientists checked the tube's tightness a few weeks later and there was still no leakage. Also, biolite can bind different materials together - in general, it can be used for completely different purposes.

At home on Mars of mushrooms

Another way to build houses on Mars was recently revealed. Employees of the NASA research center in 2018 realized that some structures can be built from mushrooms. The essence of the technology is that first people build a primitive frame, and then grow under it a mushroom, which wrapped around the structure and takes its form. When the structure takes its final appearance, mushrooms can be temperature-treated and made clean and dry.

In 2018, NASA researchers were able to grow out ofmushrooms "chair." Looks rough and scary, but in the future the technology can be improved

The image above shows that the structures of mushrooms look creepy. Scientists want to make the "mushroom" houses on Mars consist of three words. The first is planned to be made of mushrooms - it is the basis. The second layer want to make of cyanobacteria, which absorb sunlight and emit vital substances for fungi. The third layer would be well made of ice, which provides cyanobacteria with water and protects the structure from cosmic radiation. Only that's where to get so much water on Mars and how to prevent the melting of ice, they did not specify. More trees are suitable for colder planets.

As you can see, humanity is preparing to move to Mars. But before that, the planet needs to be carefully studied. To perform this task, the Apparatus Perseverance was recently sent there - what exactly it will do there, you can read .

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