Scientists Develop ‘Cosmic Concrete’ To Build Future Homes on Mars

By: | March 23rd, 2023

For the last many decades, scientists have been testing various materials for constructing habitats on Mars or Moon. Since scientists are planning for long-term establishments on the moon, they have to rely on materials that can be found on the spot. 

Now Scientists from the University of Manchester have developed a new ‘cosmic concrete’ composed of extra-terrestrial dust.

Space concrete is stronger than ordinary concrete

Researchers created “cosmic concrete,” called StarCrete, using potato starch and salt. Researchers mixed it with Martian soil. The resultant material is two times stronger than regular concrete and is perfectly suited for construction work in Martian environments.

Scientists explained that StarCrete has a strength of 72 Megapascals (MPa). In comparison, ordinary concrete has a strength of 32 MPa. When made from moon dust, StarCrete outperformed all others at 91 MPa. 

Researchers described that 55 pounds (25 kilograms) of potatoes could create half a metric ton of StarCrete (213 bricks).

The salt required for strengthening the material could also be obtained from the tears of astronauts, or from compounds found on the Martian surface.

Lead researcher Dr. Aled Roberts, said, “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,” 

The study was published in the journal Open Engineering.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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