Many scientists, including the late Stephen Hawking, have researched the possibility of putting humans on Mars. It has been suggested that mankind will have put the first human colony on the planet within the next hundred years. To get there, we will need endless resources including food, radiation shields and tools. One of the problems facing these Mars expeditions is limited resources but this could all be about to change.

This paper reveals that tools and other resources could be made in Space using human faeces in the future. This would be an invaluable invention if humans are to colonise Mars even if the thought of poop-tools is a bit gross.

Don’t worry though, the astronauts won’t just squish their waste around in a hammer-shaped mould and place it in the fridge for a while. By the time the faeces has undergone the transformation, you probably wouldn’t even suspect its origin.

Here’s how it would work:

The waste would be collected in tanks and treated with a type of bacteria that has been designed to remove fatty acid and turn the faeces into a type of plastic. This new plastic would be used like any other plastic in a 3D printer and thus a new tool would be born.

The transformation of human waste into useful products isn’t a new thing in Space. Currently, urine is recycled into drinkable water on the international space station.

So if you’re ever in an astronaut’s home and they offer you a drink or a lend of their toolbox, you may be wise to decline.