NASA, the European Space Agency, and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) want to eventually colonize the moon, but the first issue they must solve is creating livable habitats for humans. To accomplish this, they must use local resources rather than shipping building components across the stars, and ESA researchers have discovered that urea, a component of urine, could be the key. When it’s mixed with lunar material, a moon concrete is created. Read more for a video and additional information.
Utilizing this material developed by ESA, which is similar to moon regolith, and together with urea as well as various other plasticizers, the team used a 3D printer to manufacture various ‘mud’ cylinders. The samples with urea supported heavy weights, while remaining almost stable in shape and once heated to 80°C, their resistance was also tested after eight freeze-thaw cycles like those on the Moon.
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To make the geopolymer concrete that will be used on the moon, the idea is to use what is there: regolith (loose material from the moon’s surface) and the water from the ice present in some areas,” said Ramón Pamies, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Murcia).