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Blood + dust = Martian concrete

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ChaseJxyz

Writes birds and bird accessories
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In a very "why did they have this idea" and "this is how you get ghosts" galaxy-brain moment, scientists have discovered that Astrocrete works really well as a building material!

The cost of bringing a single brick to Mars has been estimated at about $2m (£1.4m), meaning future Martian colonists cannot take their building materials with them, but will have to utilise resources they can get on site for construction and shelter.

Instead, the bricks of these space colonies could be manufactured from "extra-terrestrial dust" mixed with "the blood, sweat and tears of astronauts", says the study.

"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," says Dr Aled Roberts, who worked on the project.

The key is a common protein from blood plasma - human serum albumin - which is combined with urea, the waste product found in urine, sweat and tears.

These two could be mixed with dust from the lunar or Martian soil to produce a material stronger than ordinary concrete found on Earth.

And

The methods drew inspiration from ancient construction techniques that involved mixing pig's blood into lime mortar to act as the binding material. This is heralded as an important technological invention in Chinese architectural history.

"It is exciting that a major challenge of the space age may have found its solution based on inspirations from medieval technology," said Dr Roberts.

"The concept is literally blood-curdling," he said.

I'm not a scientist or anything, I'm just a bird on the internet, but, uh, doesn't the blood and various waste products you make have things in it you might want to recycle to make more food/water? Like yeah it costs a lot of money to ship a brick to space, and you ARE saving some of the weight by getting a lot of the dry stuff from the moon/planet you're building on, but water is heavy and that's expensive to ship, too. And it's not like there's a bunch of water on the moon/other planets that we can draw from to replace the water that's being taken from the astronauts to make the concrete. Or are we gonna take hydrogen/oxygen from the ground and making or own water?
 
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Brightdreamer

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*waits for string of space horror/thriller stories, wherein rocketloads of desperate people are given free tickets to Mars to "become part of the foundation of a future colony" without realizing just how much a part of it they're expected to become until they step through the airlock and into the slaughterhouse...*
 

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Dried albumin and dried urea weigh sod-all, and would be a lot cheaper to transport than actual people. It's the water that's the problem.
 

Introversion

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*waits for string of space horror/thriller stories, wherein rocketloads of desperate people are given free tickets to Mars to "become part of the foundation of a future colony" without realizing just how much a part of it they're expected to become until they step through the airlock and into the slaughterhouse...*
Cue Monty Python’s Architects sketch.

Client 2: Do I take it that you are proposing to slaughter our tenants?

Mr. Wiggin: ...Does that not fit in with your plans?

Client 1: Not really. We asked for a simple block of flats.

Mr. Wiggin: Oh. I hadn't fully divined your attitude towards the tenants. You see I mainly design slaughter houses.
 
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Vincent

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Ground up human bones might make a decent limestone substitute, too.
 

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