NASA applications would encompass Lunar and Mars human habitation missions. Development of a suitable construction grade material, or materials, derived directly from Lunar/Mars regolith without utilizing any additives could significantly advance ISRU options for the construction of infrastructure, equipment protection or habitats while reducing the amount of raw materials required to be transported from Earth. A significant advantage of the processes suggested in this proposal relies on the simplicity of the concept. The raw material can go directly from the ground and into the production line without having to go through any separation, refinement or synthesis process. Different grades of sintered basalt can be utilized for a variety of purposes including: tools, structural components, spare parts, VT/VL tiles, roads, indoor pavers, thermal re-entry tiles, radiation protection, thermal wadis, and shelter/habitat construction.
It is estimated that approximately 5-6% of all CO2 greenhouse gases generated by human activity originate from concrete production . While it is not realistic to consider that basalt derived products could eliminate the use of cement, there are some locations (such as Hawaii) where all cement for construction must be shipped in. While creating cement alternatives for such locations may not have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse emissions by decreasing concrete manufacturing (global demand remains high), it would reduce emissions created by shipping this critical material overseas. In addition to environmental benefits, it could create a new industry to diversify the local economies where it would be useful.