a Brick from a Simulated Material Theorized to be Found on Mars for
266 Vargo Rd., Horseheads, NY 14845
The goal of reaching and colonizing other planets is coming closer and closer to being realized. One of the problems faced with colonizing another planet is how will we use the resources there to build a colony. Mars is a very likely target for colonization due to many factors, including the abundance of H2O that can be found there.
If a colony is to be built, it must be made of something. It would make the most economical sense to use materials found on Mars for colonizing instead of transporting the materials from Earth. It was suggested in a paper by Bruce Mackenzie from The Case for Mars III conference that bricks could be made from the Martian surface for underground structures. My senior thesis is to try to make such a brick.
I have done research trying to determine the composition of the Martian surface. The most important feature for producing a brick was to determine if there were any clays in the Martian soil.
In the same conference, there was another paper by Robert Boyd, Patrick Thompson, and Benton Clark that tried to produce compressed samples of wetted Martian soil which they named “duricrete.” Parts of their paper are similar to how a brick would be produced such as adding polymer fibers for additional strength.
The rest of my experiment will be to try to make bricks from researched composition using different ratios of soil to water. Then each of these bricks will be measured for strength and other measurements that seem appropriate once they are formed.