Above: PISCES’ Kyla Edison presents the latest findings of her Hawaiian basalt research using an interactive visual presentation at IAC in Washington D.C. last month.

PISCES attended for the first time last month the International Aeronautical Congress. Considered the world’s premier global space event, IAC has been bringing together experts, innovators and industry pioneers each year since 1950 to share knowledge, forge new partnerships and continue pushing the boundaries of the final frontier.

The event was hosted in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 21 to 25, featuring a week-long intensive of more than 2,000 technical sessions, as well as dozens of keynote speeches by distinguished space professionals. The presenters included a diverse array of authors, researchers and speakers from academia, industry and government. Their topics explored new scientific and technological breakthroughs, advances in space science, research, technology and education.

Among the presenters was PISCES Geologist and Materials Science Technician, Kyla Edison, who created an interactive visual presentation based on her research paper, “Hawaiian Basalt Characterization and the Effects of Chemical Composition Variances on the Sintering Process.” Through images, graphics and video, Kyla presented her basalt characterization research, showing how Hawaiʻi’s basalt varies in chemical and mineral composition, and which compositions present the ideal conditions for sintering a durable construction material. The sintering process could be applied to lunar and Martian regolith as the composition of these off-world deposits is extremely similar to Hawaiian basalt.

PISCES Operations Manager Christian Andersen focused on forming new partnerships with companies developing lunar hardware—technologies in high demand with the new push to return to the Moon. Andersen found several parties interested in collaborating on NASA STTR grants that could bring federal funding to the state of Hawaiʻi while advancing PISCES’ basalt research and related projects.

PISCES was also present at the Hawaiʻi aerospace booth, helping present the valuable contributions the Aloha State continues to bring to the global astronomy and aerospace communities. Also attending the Hawaiʻi booth were members of the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), Hawaiʻi Island Economic Development Board (HIEDB) and the Office of Aerospace Development.

IAC is hosted each year by a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a nonprofit nongovernmental organization. IAF was formed six years after the Cold War ended to reconnect scientists from Eastern and Western Europe. It includes more than 340 members from 68 countries who work for space agencies, private companies, universities, governments and other entities. IAC is organized by IAF together with the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law.

This year, IAC commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, celebrating the first human lunar surface mission and tipping a proverbial flight cap to NASA’s new Artemis program which plans to return humans to the moon in less than five years.