Science City

Science City information

Summit Area , USA
Something wrong?
Submit a correction

On the Big Island’s Mauna Kea, scientists study the night sky. Here at Haleakalā, appropriately enough, they study the sun. Science City, just beyond the summit, is off-limits to visitors. It’s under the jurisdiction of the University of Hawaiʻi, which owns some of the domes and leases other land for a variety of private and government research projects.

Department of Defense–related projects here include laser technology associated with the ‘Star Wars’ project, satellite tracking and identification, and a deep-space surveillance system. The Air Force’s Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS), an electro-optical state-of-the-art facility used for satellite tracking, is the largest telescope anywhere in use by the Department of Defense. The system is capable of identifying a basketball-size object in space 22,000 miles away.

The Faulkes Telescope, a joint University of Hawaiʻi and UK operation, is dedicated to raising students’ interest in astronomy, with a fully robotic telescope that can be controlled in real time via the internet from classrooms in both Britain and Hawaii.