Best shape of bricks for building a base on the Moon is found  

Establishing a permanent base on the Moon comes with many challenges, but one potential project may be simpler than it seems. Scientists suggest using materials resembling LEGO bricks for construction.  

LEGO brick made from a material similar to lunar regolith. Photo: LEGO

Lunar structures require extremely strong materials to protect the future inhabitants of the base. However, transporting all the necessary components from Earth to the Moon may be too expensive. Experts have long believed that extracting resources directly from the Moon would help reduce costs significantly. 

Particular attention should be paid to lunar regolith – dust, rocks and small particles covering the surface of the satellite. Although regolith is seen as a potential building material, the shape and structure of future blocks remains a research question.  

LEGO toy bricks for space missions 

A team of scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) turned to a designer for inspiration. They partnered with LEGO to introduce prototype blocks for the moonbase that connect just like toy bricks.  

Space bricks contain a thermoplastic polymer binder. Authorship: LEGO

“My team and I love creative construction and had the idea to explore whether space dust could be formed into a brick similar to a LEGO brick, so we could test different building techniques. The result is amazing, and while the bricks may look a little rougher than usual, importantly the clutch power still works, enabling us to play and test our designs,” says ESA researcher Aidan Cowley.  

Encouraging results  

However, the first LEGO lunar bricks are not made of regolith. There is very little real regolith on Earth, as it was only brought to Earth during the Apollo missions, the Russian lunar rovers, and the Chinese Chang’e-5 probe.So scientists created a regolith analog from meteor dust found in Northwest Africa in 2000. By mixing fine metal grains and chondrites (molten meteorite debris) with polylactide, the team used a 3D printer to create bricks with a distinctive design. 

The space cubes will be on display in stores around the world. Author: LEGO

This approach could be the key to building future lunar bases, as it makes use of existing resources on the Moon and significantly reduces the cost of transporting materials from Earth.  

According to