Europe News Desk!! A team of scientists in the UK has created a new material called Starcrete, made from extra-terrestrial dust, potato starch and a pinch of salt, that could be used to build homes on Mars. Building infrastructure in space is currently prohibitively expensive and difficult to achieve. But, according to the team at the University of Manchester, Starcrete offers a potential solution. They mixed simulated Martian soil with potato starch and a pinch of salt to create a material that is twice as strong as ordinary concrete and perfectly suited for construction work in extra-terrestrial environments.
In an article published in the journal Open Engineering, the research team demonstrated that ordinary potato starch can act as a binder when mixed with simulated Mars dust to produce a solid-like material. When tested, StarCrete’s compressive strength was 72 megapascals (MPa), twice the strength of the 32 MPa seen in normal concrete. Starcrete made from moon dust was even stronger at 91 MPa. This work improves on previous work by the same team where they used astronauts’ blood and urine as a binding agent, while the resulting material had a compressive strength of around 40 MPa, which is better than normal concrete, thanks to the process I had the drawback of needing blood on a regular basis. This option was considered less feasible than using potato starch when operating in hostile environments such as space. As we will be producing starch as food for astronauts, it makes sense to look to human blood as a binding agent instead, said Dr Aled Roberts, lead researcher at the University’s Future Biomanufacturing Ring research hub. Also, current manufacturing technologies still need many years of development and require substantial energy and additional heavy processing equipment.
World News Desk!!