Although it sounded like pure science-fiction a while ago, the idea of building a colony on Mars at some point in the future is a scenario that scientists are taking more and more seriously nowadays. There’s no wonder why, as agencies like NASA and SpaceX aim to send humans to the Red Planet.
Astronomers need to know the best material possible for building tools and habitats on Mars, which will be suitable when terraforming the planet starts. Luckily for us, the scientists now believe they have the right answer.
The organic polymer chitin is the key
Organic polymer chitin can be transformed into a substance for creating the necessary Martian structures. We know this thanks to a team of scientists from the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Therefore, the organic polymer chitin that is contained in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans can easily be transformed into suitable building material. This action would even require a minimum amount of energy, and there’s not even a need for transporting specialized equipment.
Coauthor Javier Fernandez said:
The technology was originally developed to create circular ecosystems in urban environments,
But due to its efficiency, it is also the most efficient and scalable method to produce materials in a closed artificial ecosystem in the extremely scarce environment of a lifeless planet or satellite.
NASA already has in plan the Artemis project, which states that humans will return to the Moon by 2024 and build a base there. Astronomers haven’t been to our natural satellite in half of century, and the next destination will be Mars if everything goes well on the Moon. But building a colony on the Red Planet is a long-time goal, whether we like to admit it or not.
The study was published in the journal PLOS One.