“It is exciting that a major challenge of the space age may have found its solution based on medieval technology,”-- Dr. Roberts, University of Manchester in England
Forget about Lil Nas X and Tony Hawk infusing drops of their blood into gym shoes. It has been recently reported that humans may be ‘literally’ infusing their blood, sweat and tears into colonizing Mars in the near future.
Traveling the 246 million miles to the Red Planet, much alone erecting the infrastructure required to make it habitable, takes an insane amount money and massive manpower.
That is the motivation behind a ghastly new research project aimed at saving money by designing building components out of human fluids. They've done it with urine, and now they're looking for blood.
The work, which was published Monday in the journal Materials Today Bio, was led by researchers from the University of Manchester in England.
The authors wrote, "The proverbial phrase 'you can't get blood from a stone' is used to describe a task that is practically impossible regardless how much force or effort is exerted." This saying is appropriate for humanity's first crewed voyage to Mars, which will undoubtedly be the most challenging and technologically demanding human enterprise yet undertaken.
They continue to say that Earth-bound resources will have to stay put since the expense of moving them would be prohibitively expensive for the great bulk of people. Rather, we'll have to rely on Martian resources — or, failing that, our own bodies.
This is where AstroCrete enters the picture. AstroCrete is a substance created by astrochemists and engineers to serve as feasible building blocks for space infrastructure. When mixed with Martian regolith, the dusty substance that blankets the dry planet, scientists believe that strengthening proteins in human blood offer biological qualities that could make for extremely strong bricks.
Indeed, blood protein will coagulate, or "curdle," to aid in the formation of a stronger bond, so strengthening the AstroCrete block.
Dr. Aled Roberts, the study's lead author, described the concept as "literally bloodcurdling."
The feasibility of employing additional body fluids is still being investigated. Other in-situ human resources, such as hair and nails (keratin), dead skin cells (collagen), mucus, urine, and human [feces], could also be mined for their material characteristics on early interplanetary settlements, according to the researchers.
“Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, we were unable to explore human [feces]-based [extraterrestrial regolith biocomposites] in this study,” they added.
AstroCrete is so effective that it has the potential to increase the compressive strength of regolith blocks by 300 percent or more, and it's also simple to make using 3-D printing. According to models, a crew of six astronauts on Mars might manufacture almost half a ton of bio-bricks in two years, or roughly 1,100 pounds.
During each mission, that's about enough material to "[double] the housing available."
Researchers claim they're simply following in the footsteps of archaeologists who have gone to antiquity time and time again to unearth new-old innovations.
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AnThony Legins is a life coach and mentor who enjoys writing on topics relating to mindset, money, real estate, finance and motivation. Read more articles and posts by AnThony at: www.themillionairemindset.net and follow on IG @moneymindsetnetwork
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