You know how people boast of achieving or building something with their blood, sweat and tears? Well, it turns out that can be done literally, but on planet Mars.
Through a series of experiments, scientists have found that it is possible to fabricate concrete using a combination of simulated regolith (scientific term for soil on Mars or the Moon), a protein contained in human blood, and a compound found in the urine, sweat, and tears of humans.
The scientists at the University of Manchester believe this concrete could then be used one day for construction works in space.
A Cheaper Alternative
The researchers are quite confident this would be a much cheaper alternative to transporting building materials from earth to outer space.
According to the research published in the journal Materials Today Bio, it is estimated that the cost of sending a single brick of concrete to Mars is $2 million.
That, coupled with the scarcity of water on the Red Planet, makes it more prudent for astronauts to make concrete on-site by simply using a mixture of their blood and Martian dust. Aled Roberts, one of the scientists who published this paper, said in a statement:
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.
This is not one of those findings that collect dust in an obscure library at a university. According to the study, scientists have already made a concrete-like substance called ‘AstroCrete’ using human blood and synthetic regolith.
Although this blood-and-dust mixture alone is as strong as a concrete, researchers say it becomes even stronger when human urea is added to the mix.
Urea from human sweat, tears and urine has the ability to increase the strength of the concrete by 300 per cent. However, the paper says further research needs to be done to determine how much blood an astronaut can give before passing out. Roberts said:
The concept is literally blood-curdling.