NASA, Hawaii’s Partner For Space Exploration

Media Release:

NASA and the State of Hawai’i have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs.

The Scarab

The Scarab

Governor Neil Abercrombie and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser signed a two-year agreement, formally called a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement Annex, during a ceremony today in the Governor’s Office. The ceremony was held on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic announcement committing the country to land an American on the moon and return him safely before the end of the decade.

NASA Engineers Checking Out the SCARAB

NASA Engineers Checking Out the SCARAB

“Hawai’i has been part of America’s space activities from the beginning of the space program when Apollo astronauts trained in the islands for their historic missions to the moon,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This partnership with NASA will broaden educational and employment opportunities for our local families and bring dollars into our economy.”

Moon dust to water

Moon dust to water

The agreement establishes a partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and Hawai’i to explore and test new technologies, capabilities and strategies supporting America’s space exploration and development goals.

Under the agreement, the state is proposing to explore the development of a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawai’i on Hilo. It would use the state’s unique terrain, which is similar to that of the moon and Mars, to enable development and testing of advanced automated and tele-robotic vehicles. Researchers would benefit from Hawai’i’s natural geography, advanced communications, power generation and other technologies required for space exploration.


“This is the type of participatory exploration involving universities and small- to mid-sized high technology companies that is becoming an increasingly important component of the 21st century space program,” Keiser said. “Americans want to participate directly and personally in space activities. As we have seen from NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project and the Centennial Challenges prize competitions, harvesting the country’s innovative talent is important to the success of our future endeavors in space. The space frontier is opening in novel and exciting ways.”

The state will provide the prototype test environment and infrastructure for the proposed analog test facilities. NASA will evaluate new concepts and models for conducting space exploration. The state will explore the potential to develop and mature innovative space-related technologies for educational, industry and government use.

“From NASA’s perspective, this partnership can inspire ideas and applications from analog test sites that can be generalized to space exploration and development of the moon and other planetary bodies,” said Ames Director Pete Worden.

The state’s Office of Aerospace Development will be the lead state agency for the project, enhancing dialogue and coordination among the state, private and academic partners to enable growth and diversification of the state’s aerospace economy.

“We support NASA’s goal to promote public-private partnerships and multinational alliances to help reduce the cost, enhance the feasibility and accelerate the implementation of future space missions – leading to settlements beyond low-Earth orbit,” said Jim Crisafulli, director of Hawai’i’s Office of Aerospace Development. “Locally, this collaboration should catalyze Hawai’i-based economic innovation and engage engineers, scientists, educators, and students, as well as commercial entrepreneurs, to increase the opportunities and benefits of space exploration.”

For more information about the International Lunar Research Park, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/internationallunarresearchpark

For more information about Ames, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/ames

For more information about Hawaii’s aerospace initiatives, visit: http://aerospacehawaii.info

The following pictures are from when the Media got to go up to Mauna Kea and check out the NASA equipment being tested  up there a few years ago. Click on the Picture for a larger view:

pahoaetc-029
Demonstrating Lunar Barrel Scooper
Demonstrating Lunar Barrel Scooper
Barrel Scooper for Lunar Dust
Barrel Scooper for Lunar Dust
More Demonstrations
More Demonstrations
Not sure what this is now
Not sure what this is now
Ramp for Lunar Dust Scooper
Ramp for Lunar Dust Scooper
Lunar Dust Scooper
Lunar Dust Scooper
Water Creating Machine
Water Creating Machine
Water Creating Machine
Water Creating Machine
SCARAB - Back
SCARAB – Back
Drill on SCARAB
Drill on SCARAB
Demonstrating the Mobility
Demonstrating the Mobility
Demonstrating the SCARAB
Demonstrating the SCARAB
SCARAB - Side
SCARAB – Side
NASA workers explain the unexplainable
NASA workers explain the unexplainable
SCARAB Million Dollar Tire
SCARAB Million Dollar Tire
SCARAB - Side
SCARAB – Side
SCARAB - Front
SCARAB – Front
Mauna Kea workers look on in awe
Mauna Kea workers look on in awe
Larson continures explanations
Larson continures explanations
Bill Larson - Chief, Applied Sciences Division, NASA
Bill Larson – Chief, Applied Sciences Division, NASA
Forgot the name of this toy
Forgot the name of this toy
Waiting for the UFO's
Waiting for the UFO’s
There were some boundaries
There were some boundaries
Parking Area
Parking Area
Trip Down in to Classified Site
Trip Down in to Classified Site
Wife and Weird Machine
Wife and Weird Machine
scarab-021
scarab-028
revolve
scarab-037
scarabtire
scarab2
scarab1
red-suits
valley2
valley

NASA Releases Video on the Testing That Took Place on Mauna Kea

Back in November, I got to go up to Mauna Kea and check out the Moon Rover (SCARAB) that was tested up there.

NASA workers at the Mauna Kea Testing Site

NASA workers at the Mauna Kea Testing Site

I wasn’t paid to go up there, I simply communicated with NASA officials and got the credentials to go there as a “Community Blogger”.

Media from around the world talking to NASA Reps.

Media from around the world talking to NASA Reps.

I just thought it would be a great once  in a life time opportunity for my wife and I to check the stuff out… as she is a total science fiction “buff”.

My wife and a machine that will create water out of "Moon Dust"

My wife and a machine that will create water out of "Moon Dust"

You can view my blog and pictures from that little trip up there here.

NASA released the following video today from this “Mission”:

Research teams and NASA experts on regolith, the material covering the Moon’s surface, held tests in Hawaii in November 2008, on equipment and lunar rover concepts that will help astronauts take advantage of resources onsite where they land. The tests were held in Hawaii because its volcanic soil is similar to the Moon’s. NASA tested prototype robotic rovers and excavators that could collect soil for oxygen generation systems. Rovers with prospecting equipment could search for water ice and volatile gases that could be used by astronauts on the lunar surface to reduce the amount of resources brought from Earth.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9mHzt14NbA&hl=en&fs=1&]

New NASA Moon Rover Revealed – The Video

I was fortunate enough to be on Mauna Kea when they had the “Media Day” and got to see the SCARAB rover in action.

scarab

Here is NASA’s Latest Mars Rover. It doesn’t have a name yet, however, NASA is offering kids a chance to name it: (DOUBLE CLICK TO GO TO VIDEO)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG7WzcRFEYk&hl=en&fs=1]

NASA unveiled its latest prototype lunar vehicle at the tail-end of Barack Obama’s inauguration parade in Washington DC.

The Lunar Electric Rover was tested in the Arizona desert last October and is run by a plug-in electric Lithium-ion battery.

NASA is sharing its technology with the US automobile industry.

The strange looking vehicle has plenty of time to wait till being used for its intended purpose, as astronauts are not due to go back to the moon until 2020.