Scientists Say On Mars, Potatoes Will Be Good For More Than Food
by Trisha Leigh
According to NASA, talk about how astronauts and scientists will survive on Mars isn’t just pie-in-the-sky pondering – they’re actually positive people will eventually get there.
British scientists say they’ve made concrete out of potato starch, and not only that, it works way better than anything that’s ben previously tested.
They call it “StarCrete,” and University of Manchester researchers claim the material, which is made from “extra-terrestrial dust, potato starch, and a pinch of salt,” is “twice as strong as regular concrete.”
This latest research takes into account previous studies, which also created “concrete-like material,” but instead used biological material like blood and urine as a binding agent.
“While the resulting material had a compressive strength of around 40 megapascals, which is better than normal concrete, the process had the drawback of requiring blood on a regular basis. When operating in an environment as hostile as space, this option was seen as less feasible than using potato starch.”
The thing is, despite Matt Damon’s theatrical success, no one is positive we will be able to actually grow potatoes on Mars.
“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. The current building technologies still need many years of development and require considerable energy and additional heavy processing equipment which all adds cost and complexity to a mission.”
Potato starch is much more simple, clean, and feasible – if they can make it work.
Only time will tell whether or not this project will get off – or rather out of – the ground.