Categorized | Government, News

House seeks additional funds for space exploration program

MEDIA RELEASE

The House Committee on Finance unanimously passed HB1419 HD1, which will appropriate additional funds to support the development and expansion of Hawaii’s aerospace and related industries.

Supplemental funding will be provided to the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) to help attract aerospace technology and corporations to Hawaii.

The funding will capitalize upon Hawaii Island’s lunar-like terrain to build an aerospace research and development park which will create new high paying technology-related jobs.

Big Island lawmakers are excited about the many opportunities PISCES will bring to their island including new industries and jobs, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs for students.

Rep. Mark Nakashima (Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo) said, “The expansion of PISCES will build upon our already globally recognized Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii-Hilo and will continue to position the Big Island at the forefront of space enterprise.”

“It will create a world-class program to facilitate the design, testing, and validation of new technologies that support both robotic and human missions to space,” said Rep. Clift Tsuji (Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea).

“The program is and will continue to be a significant economical and technological benefit to the State of Hawaii, but most especially for the Island of Hawaii,” added Rep. Richard H.K. Onishi (Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano).

The bill was introduced by several lawmakers including Rep. Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) who noted, “this is an opportunity to establish Hawaii as the next global hub of the aerospace industry and provides the funding necessary for us to realize humankind’s full potential in space exploration.”

The bill now moves to the floor for full House of Representatives consideration where, upon passage, it will crossover to the state Senate.

Sen. Gilbert Kahele (Hilo) pledged his support for the bill stating, “I am in full support of the development of the PISCES program and I will work hard to ensure that the measure is fully heard before the Senate.”

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