HAWAII'S PORTAL TO SPACE

Researching and developing new products, technologies and industries to benefit the State of Hawaii and space exploration.
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WHAT WE DO

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Support for aerospace and technology initiatives to diversify Hawaii’s economy and increase job opportunities.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT 

Hands-on work opportunities for Hawaii’s next generation of explorers, scientists, engineers and programmers.

APPLIED RESEARCH

Research and development for technologies and products that benefit the State of Hawaii and space exploration missions.

STEM PROGRAMS

WiSE TALKS

A virtual talk series featuring women working on cutting edge space exploration missions. 

WOMEN’S STARS PROGRAM

A space & science summer camp to encourage young women in Hawaii to pursue careers in STEM.

OUTREACH & EDUCATION

We visit classrooms and support community events focused on STEM education for youth.

Latest News

4th Annual EMER-GEN Program Returns in September

The 4th annual EMER-GEN program for young professionals and students interested in space careers will return to Maui during Sept. 12 to 14. EMER-GEN is a joint initiative of the AMOS Conference (happening Sept. 14 to 17) and the Space Generation Advisory Council...

Masten & PISCES Named Among Top 3D Printing Projects

Above: PISCES’ research to create ISRU basalt tiles will stack up to the challenge of a NASA STTR grant project. An additive manufacturing project led by Masten Space Systems in partnership with PISCES was named last month among the top 15 most exciting 3-D printing...

Virgin Galactic Successfully Launches 3rd Test Flight in Preparation for Commercial Tours

Above: VSS Unity rockets into space after a horizontal launch above New Mexico. Credit: Virgin Galactic Virgin Galactic successfully launched its third human spaceflight last month, marking a new milestone in the path toward space tourism. On May 22, the company’s VSS...

Applications open for 7th annual STARS program

Above: A student programs her smart robot during a workshop at the 2019 STARS program. PISCES is resuming its STARS (STEM Aerospace Research Scholars) program this year after canceling last summer due to the pandemic. Applications for the 2021 program are now open and...

Mars helicopter completes 4 test flights, extends mission

Above: Ingenuity’s 2nd flight captured by the Perseverance rover on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS NASA-JPL’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter successfully completed four test flights last month, exceeding demonstrations on Earth and making aviation history as the...

What’s the HAPS (High-Altitude Platform System)?

Above: HAPSMobile’s Sunglider HALE-UAV takes flight. Credit: AeroVironment. By: By: Peter De Baets - Sr. Director, AeroVironment Improvements in power electronics and composites have taken the latest generation of aircraft to new heights with the development of...

NASA and SpaceX launch 2nd crewed mission to ISS

Above: The Crew Dragon “Endeavour” launches atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Apr. 23 from Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA Four astronauts joined the International Space Station (ISS) crew late last month, marking the second-ever operational commercial crew flight...

How Next-Gen Unmanned Aerial Systems Can Benefit Hawaii

Above: The Sunglider HALE-UAS developed by AeroVironment for HAPSMobile can provide on-the-ground broadband internet access. Credit: HAPSMobile. PISCES is working to bring new aircraft technology to Hawaii that could provide a variety of important services while...

Masten and PISCES selected for NASA STTR Phase 1 grant

Above: Sintered basalt tiles produced by PISCES. Masten Space Systems together with PISCES has been awarded a NASA STTR Phase 1 grant of up to $125,000 to develop a low-energy, additive construction method for the moon and Mars. When humans go back to the moon, they...

Taking Flight: The Development of HALE-UAS

Above: Swift Engineering's SULE UAS takes flight: Credit: Swift Engineering. By: Matthew Fladeland, Airborne Science Manager at NASA Ames The advent of lightweight, high-power batteries, efficient solar cells, and miniaturized autopilots and sensors has led to the...

Economic Recovery in Hawaii: The Case for Aerospace

Above: HAPSMobile’s unmanned aerial system platform could launch from Hawaii to provide wireless connectivity on the ground. Image courtesy of HAPSMobile. During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Hawaii’s economy and demonstrated the disadvantages of...

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Approaches Tricky Mars Landing

Above: Perseverance touches down on Mars aided by a jet-powered sky crane in this artist rendering. Credit: NASA-JPL. After more than six months in flight, NASA’s Perseverance rover will touch down on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 at noon PST, beginning a new era of...

New Sintering Method May Reduce Cost of ISRU Production for Earth, Moon and Mars

Above: A durable new basalt tile uses a binding agent to reduce energy use. After nearly a year of research, PISCES scientists have developed a new ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) process that significantly reduces the time and energy needed to produce sintered...

H4LO Program Offers Remote Testing at Analog Site for Moon and Mars

Above: Helelani analog rover at NELHA’s HOST Park analog site (aerial shown below). PISCES is launching a new program offering remote or on-site access to a lunar analog environment with a planetary rover. Called Hawaiʻi Analog for Lunar Operations (H4LO), the program...

Helelani Rover’s Comm Systems Upgraded for Mobile Ops

The Helelani analog rover inside its new home, “Moku” or Mobile Operations Kommand Unit. The PISCES planetary analog rover Helelani got an upgrade to its communication systems last month with the help of an undergrad student, Blue Planet Foundation, Digital Evolution...

Using ISRU 3D Printing Systems for Sustainable Construction on Earth

RedWorks is testing various types of dirt and sand to create feedstock for 3D printing systems that can build habitats on Earth and in space. Credit: RedWorks By: Keegan Kirkpatrick - Founder & CEO, RedWorks RedWorks Construction Technologies Inc. is proud to be...

Chang’e-5 Mission to Retrieve Lunar Samples

Chang’e 5 blasts off on a Long March 5 heavy lift rocket from Wenchang Space Launch Center on Nov. 23. Credit: CNSA/CAS China is on track to return to Earth the first lunar surface samples in more than four decades. On Nov. 23, the China National Space Administration...

First NASA-Certified Commercial Spaceflight Carries Astronauts to ISS

Above: The crew of Resilience inside the Crew Dragon cockpit. Credit: SpaceX SpaceX broke new ground in space flight again last month after successfully launching a crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft. Launched...

Water Discovered on Sunlit Surface of Moon for First Time

An artist rendering shows the location of the sunlit crater on the moon where water molecules were recently discovered using a NASA telescope. Credit: NASA/Daniel Rutter For the first time ever, scientists have confirmed the presence of water on the sunlit surface of...

NASA Nails Historic Asteroid Landing for Sample Return

Artist rendering of OSIRIS-REx readying itself for landing on Bennu. Credit: NASA Goddard/University of Arizona. NASA’s first-ever sample return mission from an asteroid is on track to bring a handful of primordial rock dust back to Earth. The agency successfully...

WiSE Talks Highlight Leading Women in Space Exploration

When eight of the world’s best and brightest women working in space exploration come together, magic happens. The first Women in Space Exploration (WiSE) Talks series hosted by PISCES featured a full week of virtual presentations covering our solar system, robotic...

UH Focuses on Developing Next-Gen Aerospace Engineers

(L-R) UH Mānoa engineering students Adam James Macalalag, Eric Takahashi, Efren Enriquez and Matthew Nakamura hold a rocket they built and launched as part of the Spaceport America Cup competition in 2019. Credit: UH By: Dr. Brennon Morioka, Dean of UH Mānoa College...

Registration now Open for WiSE Talks Virtual Series

The public is invited to participate in a free virtual event highlighting women who work on the cutting edge of space exploration. The Women in Space Exploration (WiSE) Talks series, organized by PISCES in partnership with Microsoft and Hawaii Science and Technology...

Hawaiʻi Space Flight Lab CubeSat Set for Launch with NASA

Above: Students adding a solar panel to the Neutron-1 3U cubesat inside a cleanroom at HSFL. The inside panel contains labels with the names of all the students and faculty involved. Credit: HSFL. After six years in development, a small satellite built by the Hawaiʻi...

Basalt Launchpad Tiles to Undergo Testing by NASA

Above: Geology Tech Kyla Edison removes basalt launchpad tiles from their casting molds after sintering. PISCES completed a large batch of sintered basalt tiles last month for testing by NASA’s Swamp Works at Kennedy Space Center. Thirty tiles will be assessed as a...

UH Mānoa Aerospace Engineering Program Launches Website

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering Aerospace Engineering Program (AEP) now has a dedicated website with a variety of resources for students interested in spaceflight studies and careers. Launched in Spring 2020 under the Department of Mechanic...

Students get Hands-on Aerospace Work through HSFL

By: Luke Flynn, Director of Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory Above: Students who worked on the Neutron-1 cubesat. Credit: HSFL. In 2007, the Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) was created to design, build, test, launch and operate small satellites (<100 kg) from...

Spaceflight Startup Announces Plan to Launch Space Tours in Stratosphere

Hawaii is among the planned launch locations A new human spaceflight startup has revealed its plans to launch suborbital space tours for the public in less than five years. The Space Perspective, billed as “the off-world travel company,” held a press event on June 18...

Demonstrating Spacecraft Technology in Zero Gravity

By: Dr. Frances Zhu, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology During my PhD, I had the pleasure of flying in two micro-gravity flight campaigns to demonstrate a spacecraft docking mechanism consisting of magnets and...

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Our Mission

PISCES is a state-funded, Hawaii aerospace agency under the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). Based in Hilo, we are working to position the state as a leader in space exploration while developing sustainable products and technologies that benefit the State of Hawaii. Through initiatives in Economic Development, Workforce Development and Applied Research, we offer hands-on work experience for the next generation of explorers, scientists and engineers, preparing them to meet the demands  of a highly competitive industry while improving  the local economy through job diversification, innovative products and new industries.