Planned for future years, the colonization of Mars needs new building materials, because astronauts will need somewhere to hide from the adverse conditions of the Red Planet. And scientists have developed a new type of such material, which they called “space concrete.” Its peculiarity is that, together with Martian dust, it contains such unusual components as potato starch and salt.
According to Futurism, space concrete is stronger than ordinary earth concrete. And it outperformed the previous blood-and-urine material developed by the same team of researchers at the University of Manchester by a factor of two.
It will be quite difficult to build buildings on Mars due to the fact that for this a lot of equipment and materials will have to be delivered to the planet. Therefore, scientists decided to think about how to create materials from what is already on Mars. To create StarCrete, they mixed artificial Martian dust with earthy potato starch and added some salt to it. What happened is about twice as high as ordinary concrete.
As planned by the developers, Martian dust will be easy to collect on the spot, and starch can be obtained from potatoes, which can be grown directly on Mars. The main part of the root crop will be used for nutrition, and the cleaning and residues can be used for construction needs.
Previously, the same group mixed artificial Martian dust with human blood and urine. The resulting material was also stronger than ordinary concrete, but the problem with making it was that it would take a lot of blood to do so. And if urine in sufficient quantities could still be obtained on Mars, then there were big problems with this component. Therefore, the researchers went further and the new version exceeded all their hopes.
According to scientists, from 25 kilograms of dehydrated potatoes delivered to Mars, it will be possible to obtain so much starch that 500 kg of StarCrete material will be obtained from it, which is enough for 210 kg of brick from it. “We’ve changed the way we develop this space concrete because, most likely, colonists on Mars will not want to live in houses built from urine and blood,” said Aled Roberts, a researcher at the University of Manchester.
Also, according to the developers, their idea can be used in terrestrial conditions to create a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional concrete. Now the production of this material produces up to 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Earlier, GLOBAL HAPPENINGS told why people cannot find life on Mars.
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