The mission of PISCES is to support the exploration and settlement of space through research and education. PISCES supports the space exploration strategies of a number of space-faring nations. These strategies differ in a fundamental way from the one that guided the Apollo program in the past; this time we’re going to stay. That means we will have to learn to live off the land because it will be prohibitive, if not impossible, to take everything needed as we journey back to the Moon and on to Mars. We will have to develop new technologies to produce oxygen, food and water to support life; rocket propellants to continue the journey; energy for heat and power; materials for construction and manufacturing and many other items we use routinely here on Earth. Much of the basic research can be done in the laboratory, but before we can rely on these technologies in space, they will have to be tested and proven out in realistic settings. PISCES will provide both the laboratory and the field environments needed to pursue this mission.

When it is fully developed, PISCES will be the only international, integrated research center in the world devoted to the development of new technologies to enable permanent human presence on an extraterrestrial body. It will consist of research laboratories and field testing sites on the Big Island of Hawai’i and will involve faculty and students from its host institution, the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and also from the UH Manoa campus and other participating universities around the world.

The State of Hawai’i and its citizens, and especially those on the Big Island, have already benefited greatly from PISCES through its location at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo (UHH). The Center promotes economic development on the Big Island and throughout the State by attracting new businesses and by enhancing educational opportunities in science, math and engineering, thereby bolstering the technical workforce needed to attract additional high-tech industry to the State.

Education and public outreach are major thrusts of PISCES, with programs for the K-12 and university communities, as well as the general public. PISCES offers courses in space topics at UHH and is currently conducting the National Space Seminar, involving prominent speakers from the space community throughout the U.S. and offered simultaneously at UH Manoa through video teleconferencing. PISCES is also developing a statewide curriculum in space studies. We also work closely with the `Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo on education and public outreach activities, including informal K-12 education events.

PISCES has already become an important facility for use by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the German Space Agency (DLR) for their space exploration research, demonstration and testing programs. It will also become an important technological proving ground for other space agencies and for private companies wishing to participate in coming commercial opportunities in on the Moon and Mars. PISCES stands ready to partner with groups within the NASA field centers, other space agencies, industry and academia on projects involving research, education and testing in areas that will be critical to permanent settlement of the Moon and Mars.

If you want to help with the PISCES mission, please consider giving a donation through the University of Hawaii Foundation!

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