Apr 28, 2017 04:36 AM EDT
Getting humans to Mars is one thing, but they'll also need to be able to survive on the surface for the long duration. Keeping that in mind scientists have been looking at ways to use Martian soil to create tools and bricks.
According to scientists, astronauts would just need to apply the pressure on Martian's soil by hammer and turn the soil into something useful. A recent study about this was published in Nature Scientific Reports on April 27, 2017. The journal was funded by NASA and authored by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego.
Based on the latest report by UC San Diego News Center, the scientist accidentally discovered that astronauts can use the Martian soil in its current form to create bricks. It may be useful for building a structure on Mars. However, the experts were looking out how to reduce the number of additional polymers needed to turn Martian soil into bricks. But surprisingly, they found none was needed.
In addition, astronauts can easily create bricks out of Mars soil simulant in just two steps, without heating or additives. Firstly, the Martian soil needed to be enclosed in a flexible container in this case of a rubber tube. The other step was to simulate at a high enough pressure, reported by Science Daily. Scientist Qiao said the amount of pressure must be equivalent to someone dropping 10-lb hammer from a height of one meter.
The process explores small chunks of Martian soil pallets, which is near about one inch tall and it can be cut into bricks shapes. Apart from this, scientists believe that the main reason for reddish color in Mars is iron oxide. Researchers also investigated the simulant's structure with various scanning tool and they found tiny iron particles coat the simulant's bigger rocky basalt particles.
Currently, the next step will be to find a way to make the bricks bigger from Martian soil, so they can be used for practical purposes on the surface of Mars. NASA is to gets human into Mars in the early 2030s and possibly landing on its moon in 2039. Scientists are very optimistic that one day the bricks on the Mars will be built and it will also be used.