HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - NASA and the state of Hawaii are forming a partnership allowing them test new space exploration technologies and strategies.
NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser and Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a two-year agreement Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's commitment to land an American on the moon.
The state government is proposing the development of a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Researchers could use the area's terrain, which is similar to the surface of the moon and Mars, to test automated and tele-robotic vehicles.
The state will provide the test environment and infrastructure, while NASA will evaluate new concepts and models for conducting space exploration.
Abercrombie said the partnership will broaden educational and employment opportunities in the state.