Learning to build from the materials of Mars
Basalt is one of the most common rocks in our solar system. The more that we can make from it, the easier will be our journey to the stars. Basalt covers much of the Martian surface and would be available in some form to most landing sites. Current techniques can turn basaltic rocks into fibers that can be woven into a wide range of fabrics. Made of Mars is developing the techniques to work these fabrics into all of the products that we want and will need for our future on Mars.
Clay has been one of the most important materials in the development of human civilizations. Clays minerals have been found throughout the oldest terrains of Mars, evidence of the water that once saturated the surface. Extracting clays from the altered basalts of Mars poses a challenge greater than most clay sources on Earth, but will be worth the effort to include the resulting products into life on the red planet.