Astrobotic Hires Space Veteran to Lead Lander System Development

Pittsburgh, PA – Astrobotic, a lunar logistics company that is making the Moon accessible to the world, announces the selection of space veteran Kit Grabbe as its Principal Systems Engineer. Grabbe will serve as the technical lead on the Peregrine Lunar Lander system.  Combined with four other recent space veteran hires, Astrobotic has added more than 80 years of space experience to its team in the last 9 months.

“Kit brings a wealth of spacecraft systems engineering experience to Astrobotic. His technical achievements are equally matched by his leadership skills.  This hire solidifies the core of our Mission Engineering team and brings us one step closer to our goal of developing a sustainable lunar payload delivery service,” said Sharad Bhaskaran, Mission Director of Astrobotic.

Grabbe brings more than 24 years of experience developing some of the world’s most challenging space missions for NASA, the Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community, and commercial companies. He has worked on more than 13 space missions including GRAIL, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, and Orion.  He has expertise in guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C), system architecture and design, integration, and verification.

Most recently, he assisted Northrop Grumman in development of a bus architecture for a 6U CubeSat, an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter class spacecraft mission.  In this role, he selected Attitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS) technologies, and developed delta velocity budgets, trajectories, and basic mechanical architecture for stowed and deployed configurations.

Previously, at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colorado, Grabbe developed GN&C requirements for the Orion Launch Abort System. His work contributed to a breakthrough program decision to reduce the design margin, resulting in system structural mass savings. Grabbe also took part in the development and execution of complex tests of flight software for the GRAIL spacecraft mission that precisely mapped the gravity field of the Moon. Grabbe also led a team of engineers to operate the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft Attitude and Articulation Subsystem for two years, which included resolution of two safe mode entries.

“American achievements began as a space race, but we have enjoyed the return on that investment many times over in the areas of science, economy, technology, as well as national defense, contributing to greater peace across the planet. I am eager to continue that legacy by making our lunar delivery service a reality!” said Kit Grabbe.

Another passion of Grabbe’s is long family road trips, especially to his mother’s ranch in Texas. When home he is actively involved in church activities. He also gives back to the community with nursing home visitations, and volunteered with the American Red Cross providing emergency services for Hurricane Katrina victims in San Antonio.


About Astrobotic:
Astrobotic Technology is a lunar logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, nonprofits, and individuals. The company’s spacecraft accommodates multiple customers on a single flight, offering lunar delivery at an industry-defining price of $1.2 Million per kilogram. Astrobotic is a partner with NASA through a Space Act Agreement under the Lunar CATALYST program, and has 23 prior and ongoing NASA contracts. The company has 10 payload delivery deals in place for its first mission and dozens of customer negotiations for upcoming missions. Astrobotic was spun out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in 2007, and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.