We can make bricks out of the red dirt on Mars, and they'll be stronger than steel-reinforced concrete. Scientists from the University of California have made a brick-like rock from the closest thing to Martian soil – a simulant they created and named Mars-1a.
Compressing the soil at high pressures forced it to form a solid that is "similar to dense rock". Nanoparticulate iron oxide, common in Martian soil, acted as a bonding agent.
Here is your Martian brick:
Basically, certain Martian soil is self-cohesive.
That's important because it means humans won't have to lug a spaceship full of pallets of bricks with them to build anything properly sturdy on the Red Planet.
Nor do we have to provide any additives to help the soil form into building materials; just a way of compressing it.
Now, if only someone would invent a bricklaying robot.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.