New materials could be used to make buildings on the Moon. Scientists from Holland, Italy, Norway and Spain say a new kind of concrete could be made with moon dust and the urine passed by astronauts. The scientists said there is a chemical compound in human urine called urea. This could help things stick together to make a kind of concrete. Scientists would use 3D printers to create the construction material. Three of the world's main space agencies could start using this technique to make buildings for a permanent moon base. NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the China National Space Administration are all interested in colonizing the Moon with research stations.
Using astronaut pee and moon dust could save scientists a lot of money. It costs about $10,000 to transport 0.45kg of materials from Earth to the Moon. The urine and moon dust alternative would be a much cheaper way of constructing things. A scientist said: "We have seen that a waste product, such as the urine of the personnel who occupy the moon bases, could be used." She added: "The actual water in the urine could be used for the mixture, together with [water] that can be obtained on the Moon, or a combination of both." Scientists say another source of water on the Moon is in the ice that exists in some areas. The scientists say they need to do more tests to find the best building material.