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Sep 12 / Dave Schumaker

NASA Wants Hawaiian Ash For Training

Volcanic ash from Hawaii shows similar properties to Martian dust when it is properly filtered. Because of this, a small company is seeking permission from the state to mine this ash from Mauna Kea, for use by NASA in training for missions to Mars. “You can run a Mars Rover over it to see how it behaves and what kind of traction it gets, how the dust collects, how it obscures the optics, and how it interferes with the mechanics,” Terry told the Advertiser. “It provides a pretty good simulation.” The company wants permission to remove up to 3,520 square yards of the surface soil to excavate the underlying ash to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. All the excavation work would be done by hand.

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