Astrobotic Selects Jeffrey Apeldoorn to Lead Future Missions and Technology

Astrobotic Hires Former VP of OHB to Lead the Company’s Research and Development Group to Develop In-Space Robotics Technologies.

Pittsburgh Astrobotic, a lunar logistics company that is making space accessible to the world, announces the selection of Jeffrey Apeldoorn as its Vice President of Future Missions and Technology. In this role, Apeldoorn will lead the Future Missions and Technology department and join the Leadership Team of the company. This selection comes after Astrobotic was competitively chosen by NASA as one of the providers for its $2.6 billion Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. Through CLPS, Astrobotic will be a 10-year provider of lunar delivery services for NASA payloads.

Previously, Apeldoorn served as the Vice President Corporate Affairs at OHB SE in Bremen, Germany. His work included support of the OHB Group’s 2019+ strategy, strengthening of the Group’s capabilities and competitiveness, and investigating expansion possibilities of the Group.

As the Vice President of Future Missions and Technology, Apeldoorn will lead a portfolio of technology developments including Astrobotic’s recent $10 million NASA Tipping Point award for precision planetary landing. Additionally, he will lead proposal efforts, direct novel research, and manage the technical proposal teams. He has wide international business development experience, an extensive global network, and past experience in lunar lander and rover development. Astrobotic has received more than 30 research contracts to date, and currently is working on several NASA and commercial contracts in autonomous precision landing, mobile robotics, GPS-denied navigation and mapping, multi-rover exploration and planning, lunar cave exploration, planetary drones, and high-performance computing.

“We are thrilled to add Jeffrey to our team. His experience in international business development and managing space tech developments are a great match for us,” said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton.

Apeldoorn brings over 10 years of experience working on a wide variety of missions for government and commercial entities. As a testimony to his drive, during Apeldoorn’s tenure at one of OHB’s subsidiaries, the company grew by 400% in annual revenue and doubled its employees. In addition, Apeldoorn was personally responsible for the company’s biggest single contract win in the last 10 years.

Most recently, he supported U.S. and European Aerospace and Defense companies to expand their space businesses via strategy and business development support, sales management, and international partnerships. Apeldoorn started his career at OHB System AG, in Bremen, Germany where he worked on developing a European Lunar Lander Mission including a rover, an on-orbit robotic serving mission, and new architectures for human spaceflight and exploration. Notably, he also managed the development of new protection measures for satellites against space debris.

I am delighted to join the Astrobotic team at such a pivotal point in time. With the upcoming CLPS Program and the involvement into various other technical projects, I see a very bright future ahead of us and am looking forward to contributing to this success, said Jeffrey Apeldoorn. 

Apeldoorn, born in the Netherlands, is a long-time visiting lecturer on the topic of “Space Debris” at the yearly Space Studies Program of the International Space University. In addition, he still actively supports the Society of Aerospace Students “Leonardo da Vinci” at his alma mater, Delft University of Technology. He is an avid runner, motorcycle enthusiast, and lives with his wife.

Astrobotic is currently looking to expand its team even further. If you are interested in shaping the future of lunar exploration and associated technologies, please visit

About Astrobotic
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 at an industry-defining price of $1.2 million per kilogram. The company is also developing advanced space robotics capabilities such as terrain relative navigation, mobile robotics for lunar surface operations, and reliable computing systems for mission-critical applications. Astrobotic has more than 30 prior and ongoing NASA and commercial technology contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, a corporate sponsorship with DHL, and 12 signed deals for Peregrine’s first mission to the Moon. 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.