Breakthrough turns NASA waste into key for colonizing Mars

BRIGHTON, United Kingdom — Moving to Mars is now closer to reality, thanks to a significant breakthrough enabling the creation of energy on the Red Planet. British scientists are utilizing a material, previously deemed worthless, to achieve what they call the “most important goal” in this endeavor.

Once considered a waste product by NASA, a group of researchers have discovered a method for generating clean energy and sustainable technology from anhydrite — a common mineral byproduct of aluminum production.

“We are optimistic of the feasibility of this process on Mars, as it requires only naturally occurring materials – everything we used could, in theory, be replicated on the red planet. Arguably this is the most important goal in making the Martian colony sustainable from the outset,” says Dr. Conor Boland, a Lecturer in Materials Physics at the University of Sussex.

For their groundbreaking work, the team employed a technique similar to NASA’s method for extracting water from Martian substances. During this process, they produced anhydrite. However, it has proven to be exceedingly valuable.

The researchers transformed this byproduct into nanobelts, resembling tagliatelle-shaped materials. These nanobelts show great promise in providing clean energy and sustainable electronics. The process is remarkably sustainable, allowing for the continuous collection and recycling of water at every stage.

rocks nanobelts
Two raw rocks used by the researchers (left). Vials show the nanobelts in water, with a close up of the actual nanobelts (right). CREDIT: University of Sussex

“This study shows that the potential is quite literally out of this world for nanomaterials. Our study builds off recent research performed by NASA and takes what was considered waste, essentially lumps of rock, and turns it into transformative nanomaterials for a range of applications from creating clean hydrogen fuel to developing an electronic device similar to a transistor, to creating an additive to textiles to increase their robustness,” Dr. Boland explains in a media release.

“This opens avenues for sustainable technology – and building – on Mars but also highlights the broader potential for eco-friendly breakthroughs here on Earth.”

Nanomaterials are exceptionally small, with dimensions thousands of times thinner than a single human hair. Although producing electronics on a full scale is currently impractical on Mars, due to the absence of clean rooms and sterile conditions, this discovery could significantly impact sustainable energy production on the red planet in the future. Meanwhile, it also offers the potential for clean and sustainable energy production here on Earth.

The findings are published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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South West News Service writer Isobel Williams contributed to this report.

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  1. Why spend money on another planet..instead of fixing our own plan it earth?? We have a beautiful planet right here at home…God made Earth 🌍 for Man And Man for earth 🌎..Mars gets rained with huge craters of rock. All over the planet..and man can’t even breath on the planet nore survive on the’s Nothing but red rock..and red has not taken care of it’s own planet But yet they wanna destroy another planet.. millions of Miles away!! That will never happen..”Mark my words” Do you really thank God’s going to let man move from planet to planet Just to be destroyed by man’s poisoned fossil fuels and gas and diesel..and there’ is no apnisphar.

    1. No money will be spent on another planet all of it will be spent here creating jobs.

      You need to get your logic sorted about your imaginary God. At one time you say that it will prevent us from colonising Mars, then you say that we will colonise and destroy that planet.

      Many people think that mankind has a better chance of survival if we are not just confined to this planet as we could wipe ourselves out by nuclear war or be hit by an asteroid like the one that killed the dinosaurs.

      We have always had people wanting to explore the unknown and always will.

    2. Pls learn to spell. “It’s ” isn’t the same as “its”… and what do you mean by “apnisphar”? Ist a new word that applies only to Mars?

  2. This is the best bullshit I have ever heard living on planets with no trees or animals rivers or beaches …plus who would have the money to buy a one way ticket…but then inhabiting another planet really isn’t a bad thing….I believe what should happen is send all the world leaders and the media up there that push this bullshit …there is nothing wrong with the planet we live on it’s just run by dick heads and a corrupt media.

  3. I think this is a great discovery. Mankind needs to expand its mind into the universe. We have become so divorced from nature and absorbed into the artificial material world. We apply our greatest minds to the building of military equipment such as bombs designed for mass murder of people stationed behind imaginary lines called borders. I think it is past time we set aside cultural differences, unite as one global people, stop blowing eachother up and use our intelligence to expand life into the universe.
    We need to communicate, compare notes, exchange ideas on a global scale with everyone involved. There are a lot of great minds full of great ideas that go unheard. Yes we are destroying our planet, yes we do need a collective awakening of that fact, we need to understand and accept that fulfillment and peace do not come from owning a bunch of plastic objects, but rather giving ones all to passing knowledge to the younger generations, along with that passing on a healthy planet, quality character traits and a fair and just system and society. Religion, multi governments, money, all these things hinder our evolution as they are artificial not natural. Once we both individually and collectively overcome these barriers we can build life on our galactic neighboring lands.

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