A base on the moon can be built using lunar regolith and sea water: how it works
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New technology production of building materials will also allow building a colony on Mars.
NASA plans to build the first human base on the Moon in the near future, in which astronauts could live for a long time. This base can be built using lunar regolith (local rocks) and sea water, according to a new study. Bricks created in this way can withstand the most extreme conditions in space, such as pressure millions of times greater than on Earth. The fact that such building materials can be partially created using lunar rocks means that the cost of construction will be significantly less, writes the Express.
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Ranajay Ghosh and his colleagues at the University of Central Florida, USA, created new building blocks using 3D printing and special technology that allows you to create objects from different layers: crushed artificial regolith (which is very similar to real lunar) and sea water, which helps regolith harden.
According to Ghosh, their experiments showed that this manufacturing technique is suitable for creating long-term structures on the Moon. In this way, various components of the future lunar base can be created.
During the processing of regolith and sea water, cylindrical bricks were obtained, which scientists then baked in a special oven at very high temperatures to obtain a more durable material.
Only bricks that were fired at 1200 degrees Celsius showed the highest resistance. In particular, these building elements can withstand pressures that are 250 million times higher than atmospheric pressure on Earth. If the firing temperature was lower, then the bricks began to crumble and disintegrate.
According to scientists, a similar technology for creating “space bricks” can be used to build a base on Mars. During the experiments, the researchers used, instead of artificial lunar regolith, also an imitation of Martian rocks. These bricks have also shown to be highly resilient and durable, indicating that they will be able to withstand the adverse conditions on Mars.
“Our study aims to show that it is possible to use lunar or Martian rocks to create colonies. This way, astronauts do not have to carry too many building materials with them. And this will significantly reduce the cost of space travel,” says Ghosh.
According to scientists, it is necessary to continue research in this direction, because such building materials, which, among other things, can be taken on the Moon, Mars or any another planet, will allow you to create large objects and expand existing ones.
As Focus already wrote, scientists will send to the ISS a test sample of a new protective coating that can be used for spacecraft on the Moon .