Scientists to develop lunar landing pad test site on Hawaii Island

Photo: PISCES

Scientists are developing a lunar landing pad test site on Hawaii Island.

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) signed an agreement with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to work on the project.

The goal is to build a launch and landing pad using indigenous Hawaiian basalt, or crushed rock material, mined from a quarry near Hilo.

Scientists say it’s nearly identical to the dirt found on the moon and Mars.

Landing pads offer a flat, stable surface to prevent damages that occur when spacecrafts take off or land.

PISCES will build a simulated lunar surface and launch pad using a telerobotically operated rover.

NASA could then remotely teleoperate the leveling blade and potentially the rover from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Crews will start building the lunar landing pad later this fall, weather permitting.

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