NASA Invites Reporters to Tests of Moon Tools in Hawaii

Artist impression of a regolith exavator. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 22.10.2008]
Media are invited to observe tests of NASA equipment and rover concepts that will demonstrate how astronauts might prospect for lunar resources and make their own oxygen for survival on the moon. The tests will take place Thursday, Nov. 13, starting at 9 a.m. HST outside Hilo, Hawaii.

NASA's In Situ Resource Utilization project focuses on developing methods for astronauts to take advantage of lunar resources at landing sites on the moon. During two weeks of field tests, NASA will demonstrate prototype systems that could enable a sustainable and affordable lunar outpost by minimizing the amount of water and oxygen that must be supplied from Earth. The Pacific International Center for Exploration Systems, or PISCES, headquartered at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, will host the tests.

Reporters will be able to observe and photograph various tests of a prototype moon rover designed to prospect for ice in lunar craters, and two systems to manufacture oxygen from the lunar soil. Engineers involved in the development of these systems will be available for interviews.

Reporters must contact Kimberly Land at 757-746-4749, or Grey Hautaluoma at 202-358-0668 by Friday, Oct. 31, to R.S.V.P. to attend the event. Access to the test site is restricted and requires a letter of assignment on company letterhead for credentials.

For more information about NASA's plans to return to the moon, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration

For more information about PISCES, visit:
http://www.pisces.uhh.hawaii.edu