This methodology makes the bricks much less porous, which was an issue with earlier Martian brick-making strategies. “The bacteria seep deep into the pore spaces, using their own proteins to bind the particles together, decreasing porosity and resulting in stronger bricks,” stated Aloke Kumar, affiliate professor at IISc’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and one of many paper’s senior authors.








Space Bricks





Researchers from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed a technique for making bricks from Martian soil with the assistance of micro organism and urea. These ‘area bricks’ can be utilized to construct building-like buildings on Mars, which might support human settlement, based on a press launch from IISc.












Their findings had been revealed in PLOSOne, a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal. The slurry was first created by mixing Martian soil with guar gum, Sporosarcina pasteurii micro organism, urea, and nickel chloride (NiCl2).

“This slurry can be poured into any shape mould, and bacteria convert the urea into calcium carbonate crystals over the course of a few days.” “These crystals, in combination with biopolymers secreted by microbes, act as a cement that holds soil particles together,” based on the press launch.

This methodology makes the bricks much less porous, which was an issue with earlier Martian brick-making strategies. “The bacteria seep deep into the pore spaces, using their own proteins to bind the particles together, decreasing porosity and resulting in stronger bricks,” stated Aloke Kumar, affiliate professor at IISc’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and one of many paper’s senior authors.

Koushik Viswanathan, an assistant professor within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IISc, helped develop the slurry-casting methodology.












Previously, the group had used the same methodology to make bricks from lunar soil. The earlier methodology, nevertheless, might solely produce cylindrical bricks, whereas the present slurry-casting methodology can even produce complex-shaped bricks, based on the press launch.

Another challenge was the composition of Martian soil, which comprises a variety of iron, which makes organisms poisonous. “At first, our bacteria didn’t seem to grow at all. “Adding nickel chloride was a vital step in making the soil bacteria-friendly,” Kumar defined.

The group is now making ready to analyze how the environment on Mars interacts with the ‘area bricks’ because of the low gravity. According to the press launch, the Martian environment is 100 instances thinner than Earth’s and comprises over 95 p.c carbon dioxide, which might have a major affect on bacterial progress. Researchers have constructed a tool referred to as Mars to simulate the situations on Mars (Martian AtmospheRe Simulator).












According to the press launch, the group has additionally created a lab-on-a-chip machine that may measure bacterial exercise in microgravity. “The device is being developed with the goal of performing experiments in microgravity in the near future,” stated Rashmi Dikshit, a DBT-BioCARe Fellow at IISc and the examine’s first writer, who had beforehand labored on the lunar bricks. The group hopes to ship such gadgets into area with the assistance of ISRO to check the results of low gravity on bacterial progress.







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