The moon is one of the most likely objects in the solar system, where a person can soon settle completely. Even though the Earth satellite is fairly far from us, thanks to modern technology, we can only transport a limited amount of materials for building buildings on the lunar surface, which logically makes us do everything we need on the moon itself. One of the most unusual materials that can become an important element in the construction of the first lunar colony is considered ordinary human urine. What exactly can it play when a person moves to our natural satellite?
Construction on the moon
Throughout the history of its existence, man has looked at the moon and tried to imagine what exactly this pearl-white world looks like up close. The dream of the ancestors was fulfilled by the spaceship Apollo 11, which landed on the sandy surface of the satellite with the crew in 1969 and showed the first photos of local landscapes. However, the moon was not the most convenient place for one person, and after taking a few photos and videos, the Apollo team returned to Earth.
50 years after the historic mission, scientists are planning to return a person to the moon and develop a series of new programs that mankind could only dream of in 1969. So, if previous human participation missions were planned for a relatively short period of time, people can now stay on Earth's satellite for quite a long time.
The moon is interesting for scientists not only because you can make a living from it. The fact is that she can talk about the origin of life on earth.
In order to successfully implement the new lunar programs, mankind must learn how to use almost all of the resources available to them in construction and in everyday life. Compliance with such a strict rule will be due to the almost complete lack of materials known to people on the moon, which is why even the urine of the lunar colonists themselves can be extremely useful.
Surprisingly, it is a fact: the mere use of human urine can significantly reduce the prohibitive cost of transporting construction materials from the earth, the newatlas.com portal says.
Urea, which is contained in human urine, can be used as a plasticizer for concrete mixes – a substance that makes concrete soft and similar to plasticine. An unusual additive is used in 3D printing of concrete-like materials made of moon regolith sand, which is then used in the construction of full moon buildings. It is believed that such shelters could not only protect future researchers from extreme temperatures and micrometeorite impacts, but also from high levels of radiation and harmful particles from the cosmic wind.
The beneficial properties of urea do not only end in the softening of the concrete. It was found that tubes printed with urea can withstand heavy loads and can largely maintain their stability even after repeated freezing and thawing cycles. The presence of such a property is practical since temperature fluctuations on the lunar surface can reach 300 ° C!
The researchers are currently developing possible ways to extract urea from the urine and at the same time evaluate the suitability of the substance for the formation of geopolymer concrete, which will be required for future lunar colonists. If the results of the experiments show positive results, it should be borne in mind that urea will be an important part of fulfilling the Artemis mission by 2024 when the American astronauts – man and woman – return to the moon with the aim of gradually settling them.
By the way, we at Hi-News.ru have already written extensively about the problems of the ambitious NASA expedition Artemis, and my colleague Ramis Ganiev even spoke about what spacesuits would look like for a new moon landing in 2024.