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Astronauts Become Builders in Space, As They Mix Cement on the ISS
Builders of the world, your craft just took a mighty leap into space. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have successfully mixed cement in space for the first time, setting humanity up nicely to build on other worlds – most notably, our Moon and our neighbour – Mars.
“As part of an experiment called the Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification, researchers sent the basic building blocks of cement — tricalcium silicate, hydrated lime, and distilled water — to the ISS. The ingredients were then mixed in pouches and allowed to harden for 42 days through a process called hydration.
The results show that cement mixed in microgravity can indeed solidify much like it does on Earth. But unlike Earth-made cement, space cement has some unique microscopic features.” (Astronomy)
These unique features mean we’ll need to learn how to master mixing and moulding cement in different atmospheres and environments to ensure what we build lasts and remains strong and reliable as our buildings are on Earth.
Make sure you check out Astronomy’s full article linked above; it’s full of interesting discoveries and discussions on how cement might be used on other planets. While you do that, just realize how amusing it is to imagine a skyscraper or shopping centre on Mars. Hey, you never know – it could happen sooner than we think!