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Scientists May Use Astronauts’ Urine to Build Future Lunar Bases… Seriously

Scientists believe human urine could help shape hard materials needed for the construction of a Moon base.

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Lunar Bases
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(TMU) — The race to colonize space and build a moon base has received renewed attention since the development of Space Force with NASA submitting a new plan for sustained lunar development just last week.

But one of the persistent sticking points has been infrastructure and the myriad challenges involved in supporting human life in an environment where energy production, radiation shielding, and even waste disposal are all problematic.

Specifically, scientists have wrestled with the difficultly of transporting heavy equipment and materials to the Moon. The question has produced a very weird alternative. A team of European researchers, in association with the European Space Agency (ESA), are discussing an idea of using astronauts’ urine as a “plasticizer” that can help lunar construction.

That’s right, scientists actually believe urea, the major organic compound found in human urine, could help shape hard materials needed for the construction of a Moon base.

The advantage would be that astronauts can use urea in concert with 3D printing to shape plasticized regolith (lunar surface material) and build heat-resistant structures on the surface of the Moon without having to lug it all the way from Earth.

Ramón Pamies is a professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain, who co-authored the study that resulted from experimenting with urine and a synthetic substance analogous to regolith.

“To make geopolymer concrete that will be used on the Moon,” Pamies said, “the idea is to use what is already there: regolith and the water from the ice present in some areas. But moreover, with this study, we have seen that a waste product, such as the urine of the personnel who occupy the moon bases, could also be used. The two main components of urine are water and urea, a molecule that allows the hydrogen bonds to be broken and, therefore, reduces the viscosities of many aqueous mixtures.”

So while the proposal and experiment are certainly bizarre, they’re not exactly pissing in the wind (or the vacuum of space). The idea could actually work.

Many believe that Space Force will immanently expand our military arena into cis-lunar regions and geosynchronous orbits and that both governments and private corporations of the world will be quick to look for ways to profit, both financially and in terms of national security and military gamesmanship.

However, while NASA continues to plan its 2020s space strategy around a Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway and China explores similar options, they still face the incredible cost of keeping humans alive in space. Always thinking in terms of innovation, scientists and researchers believe lunar mining and helium-3 extraction might facilitate terrestrial electrical production.

Now they may have a new cost-reduction strategy for lunar construction: a mixture of human urine and 3D printing. A remaining challenge is how to separate the urea from the urine but some scientists say that it may not even be necessary.

According to co-author Anna-Lena Kjøniksen, professor at Østfold University College, “…perhaps [urine’s] other components could also be used to form the geopolymer concrete.”

By Jake Anderson | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House

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Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.

But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?

Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.

The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.

The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.

According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building setfocuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.

Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimesinclude assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”

An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”

Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”

However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.

The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.

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Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm

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If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.

What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.

Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.

But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.

The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.

“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.

“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”

Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.

“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.

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Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change

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Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.

However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.

The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.

“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.

“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”

“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.

Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.” 

“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.

Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.

On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.

“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.

According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.

However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.

“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.

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