twice as robust as odd blocks


Scientists from the College of Manchester have developed cosmic concrete resembling bricks by combining potato chips, salt, and extra-terrestrial mud. The ensuing blocks are robust and durable sufficient to outlive and be used for architecture and residences on Mars, and even on the Moon, based mostly on the preliminary exams of the group.


Dubbed ‘StarCrete’, the fabric begins by mixing simulated Martian soil that the scientists have invented with potato starch from dehydrated potatoes – therefore, the potato chips – and a pinch of salt. The end result springs as a brick that’s twice as robust as odd concrete and is completely suited to building work in extra-terrestrial environments.


The cosmic concrete builds on the scientists’ earlier work the place they used astronauts’ blood and urine as binding brokers. Whereas the ensuing materials was additionally strong, the method of requiring blood regularly to create bricks for architectural functions was the disadvantage particularly when astronauts have to maneuver round and work in an atmosphere as hostile as area the place choices are restricted.

pictures courtesy of Dr. Aled Roberts and College of Manchester



First cosmic concrete from blood and urine


The scientists, led by Dr. Aled Roberts, a Analysis Fellow on the Future Biomanufacturing Analysis Hub of The College of Manchester, see potato starch as a extra viable choice. ‘Since we will probably be producing starch as meals for astronauts, it made sense to take a look at that as a binding agent reasonably than human blood. Additionally, present constructing applied sciences nonetheless want a few years of improvement and require appreciable power and extra heavy processing gear which all add value and complexity to a mission,’ he says.


He provides that ‘StarCrete doesn’t want any of this and so it simplifies the mission and makes it cheaper and extra possible. And anyway, astronauts in all probability don’t wish to be dwelling in homes created from scabs and urine!’ The group calculates {that a} sack of potato chips accommodates sufficient starch to supply over 213 blocks of StarCrete. Throw into the combination a standard salt, or magnesium chloride, that may be obtained from the Martian floor or from the tears of astronauts, because the researchers state, the cosmic concrete is dubbed to be considerably sturdier.


Dr. Roberts and his group are wanting into utilizing the cosmic concrete in real-life settings and building to completely check its power. They’ve just lately launched a start-up firm, DeakinBio, which goals to discover methods to enhance StarCrete in order that it is also utilized in a terrestrial setting.

cosmic concrete
Dr. Aled Roberts

cosmic concrete
Deakin Bio tiles and bricks



undertaking data:


identify: StarCrete

lead researcher: Dr. Aled Roberts

establishment: College of Manchester

matthew burgos | designboom

mar 18, 2023

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