“Cosmic Concrete” Could Be Used to Build Habitats on Mars

Scientists at the University of Manchester have succeeded in creating a building material that can be used for construction on Mars. This “cosmic concrete,” called StarCrete, is made up of potato starch and salt that, when mixed with dust from Mars, forms a material twice as strong as regular concrete. It’s an efficient and viable recipe, as 55 pounds of potatoes could create half a metric ton of StarCrete, aka 213 bricks. “Since we will be producing starch as food for astronauts, it made sense to look at that as a binding agent rather than human blood. Also, current building technologies still need many years of development and require considerable energy and additional heavy processing equipment which all add cost and complexity to a mission. StarCrete doesn’t need any of this and so it simplifies the mission and makes it cheaper and more feasible,” says lead researcher Dr Aled Roberts. Learn more about the innovative material, which can also be used as on Earth, at Interesting Engineering.

Image courtesy of Dr Aled Roberts