Basalt technologies for Mars exploration from Made of Mars

Basalt technologies for Mars exploration from Made of Mars
Credit: madeofmars.com

SETI institute is developing basalt fiber manufacturing technologies for processing Martian basalt rocks.

J.R. Skok, PhD is in charge of the Made of Mars project. In collaboration with NASA, he conducted mineralogical sampling of Mars, the Moon and asteroids and investigated their mineral analogues on the Earth.  

Dr. Skok founded the company, Made of Mars, to work with the minerals mined on the Earth trying to attract the public and to learn how to transform these minerals that occur beyond the Earth into necessary products.

I have founded the company, Made of Mars, to develop the technology we need to build beyond Earth,

says J.R. Skok. 

Made of Mars will begin by learning to build with volcanic basalt. Basalt is the same lava rock that forms Hawaii and Iceland. Basalt is the most common material on the Earth, Mars and much of the solar system.

This rock is mined, melted and pulled into thin threads which are then woven into various products and composites.

Made of Mars is working to transform basalt into products that you can use today: keyrings, wallets, and computer cases. When purchasing these items, people support the project.

Basalt technologies for Mars exploration from Made of Mars
Credit: Made of Mars

The goal is to introduce the project to the public and encourage development of this material, setting the stage for space necessities to eventually be built from basalt, from suits to spaceships.

This effort will lead to new innovations in material properties that will allow the development of increasingly complex products made from more precise mineral analogs,

says Skok.

Basalt fiber manufacturing facility will probably get energy from water that was found as ice on Mars. The decomposition of H2O produces hydrogen (highly flammable) and oxygen (required for combustion). Solar and nuclear energy are considered the most likely options.

NASA 3D Printing Habitat Challenge nominated the projects based on Martian basalt rocks that are used as a material to produce and then process basalt fibers as the most suitable material for habitat construction. Finally, one of them, the project introduced by AI SpaceFactory took the first prize.

Founded in 1984, SETI institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization.

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