Space Cement For the First Time Ever, Astronauts Mix Cement in Space - Wed 11 Sep 05:27 GMT

Concrete could open a lot of doors for constructing habitats in space.

  Space Cement A team of scientists on board the International Space Station have successfully mixed cement in the microgravity of space.

  And that’s a big deal: the material could facilitate the construction of future space stations and colonies, allowing us to establish a permanent footprint beyond the Earth.

  “Now we know there are some differences between Earth- and space-based systems and we can examine those differences to see which ones are beneficial and which ones are detrimental to using this material in space,” said principal investigator Aleksandra Radlinska, of Pennsylvania State University, in a NASA statement.

  On Earth, cement powder absorbs water molecules, creating a familiar crystalline structure, but in microgravity that structure looks different.

  The team observed an increase in porosity of their space cement caused by microgravity — something that could affect the strength of the material.

  “Even though concrete has been used for so long on Earth, we still don’t necessarily understand all the aspects of the hydration process,” Radlinska said.

  READ MORE: Astronauts mix cement on ISS, pave way for future space colonies [Astronomy] More on the ISS: Astronauts on the ISS Are About to Get Slimed — for Science