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Building on the moon with LEGO bricks made of meteorites

Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) have used dust from a 4.5 billion year old meteorite to 3D print blocks similar to LEGO bricks, to build with on the moon.

The project aimed to find out whether or not it was possible to build with material found in space, rather than bringing building materials from Earth. The space material available on the moon is regolith, but there is little of this material available here, only a small sample collected during the Apollo mission. Thus, the researchers turned to a space material that is similar and more abundantly available: meteorites.

To make the bricks, the scientists ground up the meteorites into dust, which was then mixed with a small amount of polylactide and regolith simulant. This material they then used to 3D print the LEGO-like bricks, called EAS Space Bricks. The meteorite they used is approximately 4.5 billion years old and was original discovered in North-West Africa in 2000. It consists of various different elements, including large metal grains, inclusions, chondrules and other stone meteorite elements.

15 ESA Space Bricks will go on display in select LEGO Stores globally to help encourage kids to find out more about space travel and be inspired to build their very own moon shelters. The ESA Space Bricks will be on display in select LEGO Stores in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain and Australia plus the LEGO House, in Billund, Denmark from 24 June to 20 September.

Photos: ESA