Chinese researchers have developed new construction materials from Moon dust and are 22 times stronger than concrete.
The Daily Mail (UK) said the discovery could contribute to the construction of a base on the Moon in the future, saving trillions of dollars in shipping materials from Earth.
A team of scientists at the Xinjiang Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology in Urumqi says that Moon dust can melt several times at high temperatures to form a fiber of exceptional strength.
Chinese scientists have sought to turn Moon dust into building materials. (Photo: Daily Mail).
Based on the initial assessment, this type of filament from the Moon dust could yield a tensile strength of 1.4 gigapascal; 22 times more than standard commercial concrete.
Researcher Peng-Cheng Ma estimates that the material is strong enough to withstand the impact of a small meteorite.
The US space and space agency (NASA) once proposed building a base on the Moon with 12,000 tons of material and costing about $ 1 trillion in transport money from Earth. The current estimate is that transporting 0.45 kg of construction materials to the Moon could cost from 23,000 to 41,000 USD.
To find alternative materials, scientists tried using volcanic dust in the Changbai Mountains, near the China-North Korea border. This volcanic dust has the same chemical composition as the NASA Moon Moon dust sample brought back to Earth because it contains 48% silicon dioxide and 17% aluminum oxide.
The team of scientists 'baked' volcanic dust at 2,372 Fahrenheit and then cooled the material to make glass. This glass is further broken down and reheated at a higher temperature. This component is then added to the machine to form a fiber material.
Earlier this year, Spanish researchers tested the method of making concrete from a mixture of lunar soil and urea from an astronaut's urine. This material has a tensile strength of only 32 megapascals.
Although China entered the space race quite late, but for decades, Beijing has 'injected' billions of dollars into research and training in this field. China is the third country in the world to successfully explore the Moon, after the United States and Russia.
Besides, China also cherished until 2022 to operate a long-term space station. This is also the time for the International Space Station to halt.