Image via University of Manchester


NASA, just as NASA unveiled The latest spacesuits, which astronauts will soon wear on their return to Moon, are the result of engineers working hard to find the best material for building buildings in space.

Scientists from the University of Manchester have come up with ‘StarCrete’, a material made from extra-terrestrial dust, potato starch, and a pinch of salt. Don’t be fooled by the ingredient list, as the material is said to be twice as strong as concrete.

As mentioned previously reported, AstroCrete, an older brick made of blood, urine, dirt and Martian soil, was also created by the same team. StarCrete offers another option to space buildings that will require simple materials.

The material is called “perfectly suited for construction work” in space, the researchers found that the brick has over double the strength of regular concrete at 72 MPa, while ones made with moon dust were even stronger at 91 MPa.


Image via University of Manchester


Previously, AstroCrete had an estimated compressive strength of 40 MPa, making the new iteration vastly stronger and perhaps more feasible in reality—considering potato starch would be easier to obtain than blood.

“Since we will Starch is being produced as food for astronauts. It makes sense to treat that as a binding substance rather than human blood. And anyway, astronauts probably don’t want to be living in houses made from scabs and urine!” explained Dr Aled Roberts, Research Fellow at the Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub.

According to the team, that one sack (55 lbs) of dehydrated potatoes (crisps) contained enough starch to produce nearly half a tonne of StarCrete—or over 213 bricks. A three-bedroom house with seven bedrooms takes 7,500 bricks.

Moving forward, Scientists are planning to move the material from the laboratory into the real world. DeakinBio, their startup, plans to improve the brick so it can be used to build landmarks on Mars and the Moon.




[via New Atlas and University of Manchester, images via University of Manchester]

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