Some amazing pictures taken by NASA were just released. It shows the astronauts who were a part of the Apollo moon mission training here in Hawaii more than 40 years ago.
"What we wanted to do is capture something that was very historic that was done in Hawaii where Hawaii was instrumental in the training and readiness for putting man on the surface of the moon," said Rob Kelso, Pacific International Space Center executive director.
Kelso helped to find and release never-before-seen pictures of early Apollo astronauts on the Big Island. He is a former space shuttle flight director and says Hawaii is an ideal training ground.
"The thing that sets Hawaii apart from almost every other place in the world is that it is almost an exact replica of the surface we see on the moon and on Mars," said Kelso.
Many of the Apollo astronauts that walked on the moon trained right here in Hawaii. It's our unique landscape that drew the astronauts here.
"If you have been up to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, you know there aren't any plants and no vegetation up there and it's red, like the red soil of Mars, and it looks like you're in a different world," said Kelso.
Not only do these pictures peer into Hawaii's space history, but they give a glimpse of the future as well. Just last year, scientists from the University of Hawaii and Cornell used Mauna Loa as a test site to mimic space conditions.
"It makes a great place for scientists and astronauts to come and do geologic field training in preparation for not only Apollo missions, but for future missions to the moon and Mars," said Kelso.
Hawaii is firmly part of space history and future.