Science in general and astronomy, in particular, are fields full of surprises and wonders. It’s half a century since last time astronomers went to the Moon, and an upcoming mission has the purpose of repeating the exciting adventure. Humans will return to our natural satellite during the Artemis program scheduled between 2020 and 2024.
NASA will put a man and a woman on the Moon’s surface by 2024, and they’ll need to build a base there. However, one way of making it is truly staggering: they could use their own urine.
How can it be possible
A new study published recently on the Journal of Cleaner Production proposed the idea that regolith (aka moon dust) will get mixed with a component from the human urine called urea in order to create a kind of concrete. The outcome can further be 3D-printed for building a structure for human habitation.
Ramón Pamies, who is the study author and also a professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, declared:
To make the geopolymer concrete that will be used on the moon, the idea is to use what is there: regolith, or loose material from the moon’s surface and the water from the ice present in some areas,
The main further added:
With this study we have seen that a waste product, such as the urine of the personnel who occupy the moon bases, could also be used,
Roaming on the Moon is dangerous
Sending humans to our natural satellite and making them survive there is not at all as easy as it sounds. Building a safe base on the Moon is a ‘must’ since there are plenty of natural aspects that can harm and even kill human beings: radiation, extreme temperature shifts, and so on.
Transporting materials from Earth to the Moon is too expensive, and therefore astronomers will have to improve somehow. They will have to use materials already found there, or those brought with them from our planet.
The NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the Artemis program would make humans return to the Moon “for good,” unlike the Apollo program from half a century ago.