KEA’AU, Hawaii – The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, or PISCES, conducted a successful rocket engine firing test at its Lunar Landing Pad Site today.
The blast lasted 4 seconds, and smoke enveloped the basalt lunar landing pad that was recently constructed at a Kea’au rock quarry. The Vertical Take-off/Vertical Landing pad (VTVL) bullseye was burned with a power equivalent to 26.5 lbs. of dynamite. Scientists say that’s enough to launch a 960 lbs. rocket.
PISCES and their partners – NASA, Honeybee Robotics, ARGO, Hawaii County Department of Research and Development – staged the burn to test the durability the pad, made up of 100 basalt pavers that were robotically set in place. It is a part of PISCES’ Additive Construction for Mobile Emplacement project.
The initiative will help test methods of construction for Moon and Mars missions.
Big Island Video News will have more information and video from this test. Ena Media Hawaii partnered with PISCES to document the firing test.