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PISCES Talk on “Living Off the Land”

by vrecinto on March 28th, 2014

Rover Capital Flyer Picture LO RES with Logo

Next Maunakea Skies Talk April 18, 2014

Speakers:  Rob Kelso and Rodrigo Romo of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES)

Topic: Living Off The Land

Time: Friday April 18, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the ‘Imiloa Planetarium

Join Rob Kelso and Rodrigo Romo for their Maunakea Skies talk about how the lunar rover and the Robotic Village will play a role in “Living Off The Land”  – a concept that Hawaiians have been experts at for centuries and one that is vital to Earth’s next chapter in space exploration.

This 726-pound robotic space vehicle just arrived in March. It is the size of a golf cart, and comes from Canada via an extended loan agreement with Ontario Drive Gear.

The rover is the heart of PISCES’s “Robotic Village” – an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) research facility. ISRU involves the development of technologies that can manipulate raw materials on other planets into resources needed for human survival in space. This rover, for example, can search the Moon for water and ice, which can not only be used to drink, but can also be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen – both of which are used to make rocket propellant.  On top of ISRU research, the rover will also play a central role in STEM education activities and tests.

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) is a Hawaii State Government Aerospace Agency located in Hilo. The Center is part of the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) and conducts environmentally safe field demonstrations on Hawaii’s volcanic terrain to test and validate advanced space technologies under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

On top of planetary analogue testing, PISCES’ projects also include robotics, advanced manufacturing, and advanced communications, all of which involve dual-use technologies: they have applications both in space and here at home. They can potentially advance planetary surface systems technology, as well as stimulate the growth of Hawaii’s economy, create jobs locally, educate keiki astronauts-to-be, and improve our State’s sustainability.

Rob HeadShot 2PISCES’s Executive Director Rob Kelso is a former NASA Shuttle Flight Director who served in NASA’s famed Mission Control Center, directing 25 Space Shuttle missions. His role was the same as that of Gene Kranz (“Failure is not an option”) in the movie “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks.Rodrigo

PISCES’s Project Manager Rodrigo Romo joined the team in January to lead the Center’s “Robotic Village”

For more information about PISCES, visit the website at

Phillips, ‘Imiloa planetarium staff,  will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, pointing out prominent constellations and stars one can see during this time of year.

The monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Cost is $8 for Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold and Corporate Members. Non-member rate is $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 969-9703.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to, or call (808) 969-9703.

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