Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Moon Bricks

PostedFebruary 15, 2009

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Randy Atkins: Kathryn Logan, a Virginia Tech materials engineer, is mixing simulated lunar dirt (a NASA-approved recipe) with powdered aluminum that could come from used spacecraft parts.  Add heat in just one spot and it reacts like a Fourth of July sparkler.

Kathryn Logan: Once the reaction is started, then you don’t have to add anything else.  It just goes by itself.

Randy Atkins: When the sparks stop flying, voila, instant bricks…engineered to fit snugly together, without mortar.

Kathryn Logan: Just the shape of the brick holds the structure together.

Randy Atkins: While not air-tight, Logan says it could be built over inflatable domes.

Kathryn Logan: And then it would serve as a radiation shield and also a meteoriod shield.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103 point 5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.