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Lumberton students' project will go to outer space on rocket, allow astronauts to test concrete material in space

The pair of young scientists beat out 375 middle school and high school students to have their project go to the International Space Station

LUMBERTON, Texas — Two Lumberton High School students are set to make their mark on space travel with an experiment to test how concrete works in outer space.

Dr. Nick Brake at Lamar University helped the Lucas Mason and Austin Havard research and develop the idea. Brake is an associate professor of civil engineering. 

"What we want to do is see if this ultra-high performance material, it works very well down here, can also work up there as well for the purpose of colonization or building structures in space," Dr. Nick Brake said.

Mason and Havard are participating in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, and the pair of young scientists beat out 375 middle school and high school students to be chosen.

"I honestly wasn't expecting it so it was a nice surprise,"  Mason said. 

The teens are in eleventh grade. They'll see the science experiment loaded onto a rocket ship and sent to the International Space Station. Astronauts will replicate their earthly experiments in space.  

Their science experiment is one of 34 from around the world that will be loaded onto the rocket ship. 

"It was a great, great feeling," Havard said. "It is sort of strange because we've learned all the times, we've learned about all the different trips up there and knowing we had a part of it."

The rocket will launch in October 2020.

"It has been very, enlightening to see the process behind all this stuff. I didn't know how things like this worked before hand so I learned a lot," Mason said.

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