There is no doubt that a manned mission to Mars sooner or later will be held and the first settlers will need somewhere to live. The houses should be durable, inexpensive and able to withstand the harsh conditions of the red planet. And it so happened that the raw materials for such material was found. And not in the high-tech laboratories and factory for the production of beer.
According to the publication, Nano Energy, a group of researchers from the University of Colorado led by Ivan Smallcom managed to develop a cheap aerogel. Aerogel is a material with a rigid frame and a large (90%) number of cavities with bubbles of air or other gas. Because of this aerogel is very light, its production takes a few raw materials, but because the particular structure of the frame, the rigidity is enough for you to use aerogel as a building material. In addition, the aerogel has good insulating properties and is permeable to sunlight, but there is the disadvantage that the aerogel matte due to the chaotic internal structure. It is the latter property, and decided to change the team.
The basis of the framework of a new type of aerogel is cellulose. It is very much in the waste of brewing beer wort, which at the moment simply utilized. So to “space material” is possible for mere pennies. Some plants will only be happy if they get rid of the huge amount of waste material. In the process, the wort is a special kind of aerobic bacteria transforms it into nano filaments of cellulose, resulting in a transparent flexible film, and the heat resistance of such material is so high that it is no problem to put some time into the fire. The authors believe that the new material can be used in space missions:
“Transparent, lightweight and durable thermal insulator would help, for example, the Martian colonists. You can “collect” sunlight passing through the heat-insulating window and keep heat inside the building, avoiding hypothermia and not wasting resources to heat rooms on the moon or Mars.”
In addition, the material may be useful on Earth for making teplosernaya Windows and even, according to the authors, transparent winter clothing. The last one sounds very strange, but given a very extravagant fashion trend, why not?