With potatoes and salt, this is what the future houses on Mars are thought to be
Originally, it was mushrooms. Now potatoes are the latest food to pave the way for the homes of the future.
Scientists from the University of Manchester have created a new building material called 'StarCrete' that with the help of potato starch - and salt - can help build extraterrestrial homes.
The news comes after US architecture firm Red House announced in February that it was working with NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to build homes made from dehydrated fungi and algae in space.
Ideally, the production of such materials would also be achieved through relatively simple, low-energy processes that also support other critical systems, such as eating or breathing.
The University of Manchester team believes that a possible solution to the problem could be potato starch, which would bond together with the lunar soil.
In their experiments, the scientists used ordinary starch and salt - magnesium chloride, which can be obtained from the surface of Mars or, strangely, from the tears of astronauts - to stick and structure the Martian soil.
In an article published in the scientific journal Open Engineering, the scientists said the results provided a material that is twice as strong as ordinary concrete.