Building bases on Mars will literally require blood, sweat, and tears of astronauts, according to scientists developing a cheaper way to use Mars rock and soil to form a concrete-strength structure.
Water and concrete materials are too expensive to haul to the red planet, so the secretions and curdled blood of space explorers will have to be used instead to make what scientists are calling AstroCrete.
"The concept is literally blood-curdling," University of Manchester Dr. Aled Roberts, involved in the research, told the U.K.'s Independent.
"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."
Hauling bricks or materials to Mars is "prohibitively expensive," but extra-terrestrial dust and astronauts' bodily fluids can be combined to form a material "substantially stronger than ordinary concrete," which is "perfectly suited for construction work in extra-terrestrial environments," according to the study.
Human serum albumin, a protein from blood plasma, has shown in the study to be able to work as a binder for simulated space dust, while Urea from urine, sweat, and tears can increase the compressive strength by over 300%, according to researchers.
Animal blood was historically used as a binder for mortar, according to the report.
"It is exciting that a major challenge of the space age may have found its solution based on inspirations from medieval technology," Roberts told the Independent.
A crew of six astronauts can produce an estimated 500kg of high-strength AstroCrete on a two-year mission on the surface of the moon, according to the findings.
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