Role of CETEC in the Development of Lunar Concrete


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Title: Role of CETEC in the Development of Lunar Concrete

Author(s): P. A. Hart, S. D. Howe, S. W. Johnson, G. G. Leigh, and R. S. Leonard

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 125


Appears on pages(s): 155-166

Keywords: cements; concretes; engineering; lunar bases; lunar dust; lunar rock; simulators; General

Date: 5/1/1991

Concrete-like materials can be envisioned for applications in the construction of a lunar base in the next century. Although the technology for the manufacture and use of such materials on the moon is not yet available, many people have begun to investigate the possibilities for applications of cements and concretes adapted to the lunar environment. It will be essential that enabling technologies and processes for lunar concrete be developed and proven to have a high degree of reliability. Equipment and operational procedures must then be thoroughly tested under realistic conditions before commitment to lunar base construction. The authors believe that a need exists for a major center of knowledge and education with a simulation facility, where the technologies for lunar and Mars operations can be verified for effectiveness and suitability, to preclude costly surprises and breakdowns in extraterrestrial operations. The authors are planning a Center for Extraterrestrial Engineering and Construction (CETEC), which will serve such a purpose. The CETEC group encompasses many people from across the nation representing national laboratories, universities, constructors, aerospace firms, research and development companies, government, and small business. CETEC will give developers of lunar concrete access to necessary expertise and test facilities to achieve the goals of the space exploration initiative. At CETEC, simulated materials of the moon and Mars will be available in vacuumin appropriate hot and cold dusty environments, so that concepts and prototype equipment for cement and concrete production and use can be verified on a large enough scale to satisfy skeptics and advance all uses of in situ lunar materials for the benefit of humankind.