Space bricks by IISc and ISRO

A team of researchers from the IISc and ISRO has developed a sustainable process for making brick-like structures on the moon. The process makes use of lunar soil, bacteria and guar beans. These load bearing bricks could be used to assemble structures for habitation on the moon's surface in future.

Sending material from Earth is not viable as it costs about ₹7.5 lakhs to send a pound of material into space. The process developed now uses urea from human urine and lunar soil as raw materials for construction of these space bricks. This decreases the overall cost considerably. It also leaves a lower carbon footprint as the process makes use of guar gum instead of cement for support.

A bacterium called Sporosarcina pasteurii is added to the lunar soil which crystallizes the brick by production of calcium carbonate.

Scientists say that their next step is to enhance the strength of these bricks and test them under severe conditions like impacts and possibly moonquakes.