Rep. Marilyn Lee and Jim Crisafulli on the Kukui Connection set
He is a familiar face at the State Capitol, usually jolly, and always passionate about his favorite subject: space. Jim Crisafulli is the director of the Office of Aerospace Development, and he is Rep. Marilyn Lee's guest on the next episode of "Kukui Connection".
Jim is also the executive director of the Pacific International Space Alliance, or PISA, but this one is "leaning in the right direction," says Jim.
The show airs on Sunday, December 18th, 4:00 p.m. on Olelo Channel 54. It repeats, same time/same station, on Christmas Day, Dec. 25th and New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2012.
Jim started his star trek with Hawaii state government by joining the Office of Space Industry in the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism in 1988. At that time, the focus was primarily starting a potential space port on the southern point of the Big Island. That office was closed in 1995. Jim then served as DBEDT's Science and Technology Director until the legislature created the Office of Aerospace Industry in 2007.
In his current position, Jim leads Hawaii's efforts to develop an aerospace industry in Hawaii; NASA has recognized the state as having great potential for future aerospace endeavors. NASA and Hawaii signed an agreement for space collaboration in 2010 to work on areas related to aerospace.
The first collaboration has been a project related to small satellite research in the islands. They also recently completed an international conference on the Big Island which focused on the future development of an lunar research park.
An annex to the agreement was recently signed to develop terrestrial analog facilities on the Big Island, leveraging the island's lunar-like and mars-like terrain, in order to develop and prepare for future missions into space.
Exactly, why is Hawaii a great place for aerospace development?
*We have certain terrains that are very similar to the moon and Mars. In fact, we have the most similar terrain to the moon than anyplace else in the world, and this terrain can be used to simulate conditions.
*Being near the equator, we are an advantageous site from which to launch payloads into equatorial orbit.
Here are some related links that will help give you a big picture of Hawaii's space-related activity.
HCR123 Recognizing Aerospace as a strategic and timely growth industry. The resolution outlines the history and future potential of aerospace in Hawaii.