NASA, China, and the European Space Agency are planning to build several Moon bases in the upcoming years. This is their base foe sending humans on missions far away from Earth, for example, Mars. The European researchers have recently discovered that they can use astronauts’ urine as a high plasticizer for determining the structures that will be built on the Moon.
Therefore, the organizations are planning the colonization of the Moon, even though this attempt poses many problems such as meteorite crush, extreme levels of radiation, significant differences in temperatures, and also logistical issues when transporting the materials on the Moon.
Transportation to the Moon has very high prices: 0.45 kg could cost 10.000 USD. This is why researchers are thinking of a way to construct the moon bases using the raw materials that the Moon can offer and the ones provided by astronauts themselves – their urine.
Using astronauts’ urine to build Moon bases
Research conducted by scientists coming from the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Norway is trying to understand better urea’s potential to be a great plasticizer. In collaboration with ESA, they developed a series of experiments to see if urea can soften the surface of a mixture of materials, making it easier to adjust.
For this study to be completed, the researchers need to make use of the things that are available on the Moon, such as regolith, water from the ice, and the personnel’s urine. The regolith is the material found at the surface of the Moon, while the ice can be found only in several areas. Urea is a molecule capable of breaking the hydrogen bonds in material and making it more malleable.
One thing that researchers still need to address is how the urea will be extracted from the urine. Researchers are trying to find a way to make the project a success without dividing the urine from the water. Additionally, further research needs to be done on the building material from the Moon.