Pittsburgh, PA – John Thornton of Astrobotic was named CEO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. The award was announced at the 23rd annual Tech50 awards ceremony, held Wednesday evening in Pittsburgh.
Thornton was selected from among eight finalists representing some of the region’s most innovative tech companies. The award recognizes his leadership of Astrobotic, a Pittsburgh-based space robotics company, in pioneering commercial delivery services for the Moon. The company’s Peregrine lunar lander was recently selected by NASA to carry the first American payloads to the lunar surface since Apollo.
Peregrine, along with Astrobotic’s larger lunar lander, Griffin, and the company’s two lunar rovers, are being developed and assembled entirely in Pittsburgh. Astrobotic also sources many of the lander and rover parts from Pittsburgh-area businesses. Until recently, Astrobotic operated out of a warehouse that was a former steel-stamping plant – a reminder that they follow in the region’s rich industrial tradition. Said Thornton, “If Pittsburgh can land on the Moon, Pittsburgh can do anything.”
The Tech50 awards honor the most successful and innovative companies in the Pittsburgh region. They are sponsored by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, a non-profit trade association dedicated to growing and supporting local tech businesses.
John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic, (center) accepting the CEO of the Year award at the Pittsburgh Tech50.
Astrobotic Technology, Inc. is a space robotics company that seeks to make space accessible to the world. The company’s lunar lander, Peregrine, delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits, and individuals for $1.2 million per kilogram. Astrobotic was selected by NASA in May 2019 for a $79.5 million contract to deliver payloads to the Moon in 2021. The company also has more than 30 prior and ongoing NASA and commercial technology contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, and a corporate sponsorship with DHL. The company is also an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST Program. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.