Astronaut urine could star in next big space jump

According to a study by the European Space Agency (ESA), the urine of astronauts could serve to improve compounds and create construction materials, for example, to make a settlement on the Moon a reality.

The space race uses the most cutting-edge technology in the world to achieve milestones. Often the greatest technological advances are based on space engineering and the instruments that are invented to make man go further and further up there.

However, it seems that the latest discovery by the European Space Agency (ESA) has little technology. According to a study published on its website, it seems that the urine of astronauts could be key to achieving the first human settlement outside of Earth.

As you already know, uploading materials from our planet to space is really expensive. It is estimated that each kilogram that is put into space costs more than a million euros. A little expensive, right? Therefore, the research of recent years at NASA has been to create machines that can manufacture materials on a spacecraft or space station. 3D printers are key in this process, a discovery that has revolutionized the space race.

Urea to create strong lunar concrete

Scientists have found that if you put together urea and lunar regolith, loose rock on the Moon’s surface, you can create a very strong lunar concrete spice. “The scientific community is especially impressed by the great resistance of this new recipe compared to other mixtures. In addition, she is also attracted to the idea of allowing material already available on the Moon to be used, ”explained Marlies Arnhof, co-author of the study that you can consult here.

Urea, which we are currently able to manufacture to create fertilizers and which is also the main component of our urine, acts as a superplasticizer in the mix. It is a very cheap material and, in addition, an adult is capable of generating approximately 1.5 liters of urine per day. Therefore, according to the ESA in its study, it seems that the urine of the astronauts could become by surprise a product “promising for space exploitation.”

As I mentioned before, the material is very resistant. According to tests, this lunar concrete mixed with urine from astronauts would be able to withstand the typical adverse conditions in space. For example, vacuum and extreme temperatures. The samples made withstood temperatures of 114 ° C to -80 ° C, data that could be improved by adding more components to the mixture.

In short, an extraordinary finding that could solve many headaches. According to Marlies Arnhof, using urine from astronauts to create structures “would be very practical, and would avoid having to further complicate the sophisticated water recycling systems used in space.” Don’t you find it surprising?

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