Mars Habitat Construction: Grow the materials needed on Mars!

Apr 19, 2020
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Mars will be explored by humanity soon. The choice of habitat construction materials is critical. If the habitat could be constructed of materials found on Mars then it would be much more cost effective than transporting material from earth. It is proposed that Pykrete may offer a innovative solution to construction of Martian habitats.

Pykrete is composed of wood fiber and water. At temperatures below 32 f this mixture provides concrete like strength and durability. A habitat composed of pykrete would be able to withstand the weight of soil mounded upon the structure to provide radiation shielding and would be able to hold pressure as well.

The basic materials needed to form pykrete are found on Mars. We know there is water available in various forms on the planet, either in the polar ice caps or as underground brines and ice layers. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could be transformed to wood fiber through photosynthesis by plants such as bamboo. Imagine a heated chamber supplied with compressed Martian atmosphere and water from Mars, growing bamboo and then ejecting the grown wood in bundles for later use in construction. This would provide the raw materials to construct robust habitats.