HILO >> A new Hilo sidewalk will help researchers study options for building infrastructure on the moon and Mars.
The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems says Hawaii County will install three sidewalk slabs made out of “lunar concrete” volcanic basalt on Thursday.
The technology is designed to provide Hawaii with a locally-sourced, more sustainable alternative to traditional concrete and rebar.
The lunar concrete may also be used to build human bases in space because Hawaii’s basalt is similar to dirt on the moon and Mars.
Researchers will analyze the slabs over a year to see which binding agent is the most effective.
PISCES has been working with Hawaii County, the University of Hawaii and Kodiak FRP Rebar on the project.
The sidewalk will be installed near Lincoln Park in downtown Hilo.