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The University of California San Diego team discovered Martian soil can be made into bricks stronger than steel-reinforced concrete by simply using the right amount of pressure. That means no oven to bake the bricks or any other additional ingredients.
"The people who will go to Mars will be incredibly brave," lead author Yu Qiao pronounced. "They will be pioneers. And I would be honored to be their brick maker."
The researchers stumbled onto the discovery, which was published in Thursday's Scientific Reports. Originally, the team sought to reduce the number of polymers needed to create bricks. Instead, they found pressure equal to a 10-pound hammer falling one meter was enough to form a small sample of hardened Mars soil.