Civil engineers at the Stanford University and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) worked in a joint venture to develop a form of concrete that could be produced on Mars or the moon.
As per the plans made by NASA, If humans do reach Mars till 2030, or even establish settlements on the moon, they would need thousands of tons of concrete to survive, because both Mars and the moon are bombarded constantly with both lethal radiation and micrometeorites that would quickly punch holes into any ordinary structure according to the reports.
Since it is nearly impossible to transport such large quantities of cement to Mars, the best way forward would be to start making it in space.
David Loftus at Nasa's Ames Research Centre and Michael Lepech, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford School of Engineering, turned to biology to form concrete in order to solve the problem of making Earth-style concrete that requires tremendous amounts of heat and energy, which would be very short supply for first human outposts on Mars.
Reseachers have developed a new form of concrete made using Martian or lunar soil and animal proteins that may allow future astronauts to build colonies on Mars and the Moon.
Living organisms use proteins to make things as tough as shells, bones and teeth, so the researchers began working on a concrete bound together with a protein from bovine blood.
The researchers did their mixing with a vacuum technology used to make the composite materials in products such as boat hulls as Mars has much lower gravity than Earth, which is bad for cement mixing.
According to a news release, the first batch of bio-concrete, was as strong as the concrete used for sidewalks and patios.
For the purposes of making concrete on Mars, the idea is to create biological "factories" of organisms that are genetically engineered to produce the protein binder.
One of the big advantages of bio-based concrete is that, unlike in regular concrete, the binding proteins can be recycled time after time. Over years, that can save a lot of energy.