This brick will be used to make the foundation for building, roads and equipment on the moon. Bricks made of moon sand. Research is underway at the German Aerospace Center in Cologne.
In the future, this brick will be used to make the foundation for building, roads and equipment on the moon.
Matthias Sperl of the Aerospace Center is working on exactly this goal. These bricks will one day build buildings on the moon.
These infrastructures include residential buildings, greenhouses, warehouses, or paved roads. These be used to build protective walls, bases for radio telescopes or larger instruments.
Infrastructure has to built in extreme environments, with cosmic radiation and large temperature differences, such as plus 100 degrees to minus 100 degrees.
Transporting infrastructure to the Moon is also a costly affair. So it would be reasonable to work with materials that are available there, such as moon sand.
Researchers here are using volcanic ash. Their physical and chemical composition is similar to moon sand.
“The rocks are not yet perfect,” said researcher Mathias Sparl. Don’t be perfect in the end. But the great thing is that the method we are using is simple, affordable and sustainable.
A small initiative done quickly in an environment where there is no electricity supply.”
Because sunlight produces enough heat to burn bricks. As it does on the moon, so does this solar furnace at the German Aerospace Center.
This heliostat or giant mirror reflects and consolidates the sun’s rays. That light falls into this honeycomb-like concentrator of 159 mirrors. There it concentrated five thousand times and falls inside the solar furnace.
A single concentrated beam generates heat up to 2500 degrees Celsius. Moon sand baked layer layer with this heat.
Much like the 3D printing process, the brick created on a special table. Condensed light acts as a print head there.
“The biggest advantage of this method is that I build it layer by layer, just like 3D printing,” says Matthias Sparl. I have a lot of control. I can make exactly what I want on the spot, using few ingredients.”
Researchers are using geometric shapes that help each other to easily build buildings on the moon. But all the elements to taken to the moon.
But the way it works in the earth’s environment, is it possible to work in the same way on the moon?
According to Matthias Sparle, “One of the characteristics of the Moon is its vacuum. That’s why we also do some experiments here using solar furnace with vacuum chamber.
By experimenting with these vacuum chambers, we try to understand how dependent the baking of moon sand is on the presence of oxygen.”
The test results show that this method will work in the lunar environment. And it is possible to make hard brick or stone like plaster using moon sand.
With these bricks, it is possible to build walls on the chest of the moon to protect astronauts from cosmic radiation.🔱