Four Veteran Space Industry Leaders Join Astrobotic as the Company Builds Griffin-1 

Pittsburgh. PA – March 21, 2023 – Astrobotic announced today the addition of four distinguished space industry leaders to its team. These veteran appointments will bring decades of spacecraft experience, expertise, and lessons learned as the company prepares Griffin for its lunar mission. Steve Clarke joins as the Vice President of Landers and Spacecraft, Frank Peri joins as the Director of Engineering with a focus on Griffin-1, and Jim Reuter and Michael Gazarik join as advisors to the company.  

“These hires add substantial experience and leadership that will help lead Astrobotic’s next lunar mission to a successful lunar landing. Steve fostered the establishment of the NASA CLPS initiative and has deep expertise in lunar system development. Frank brings tremendous experience in safety & mission assurance from NASA’s aeronautics, science, and exploration missions at NASA Langley Research Center. Combining these proven leaders with our flight experience gives us more confidence than ever that Astrobotic’s lunar lander program has a bright future,” said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic.  

Steve Clarke, the former Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, brings 39-years of experience in executive leadership, systems engineering, program management, and operations to his new role leading lunar lander delivery at Astrobotic. Clarke’s leadership contributions across several NASA mission directorates have been recognized with NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and the Presidential Rank Award. His distinguished service in government and commercial space programs, coupled with his expertise in program management and lunar systems, make him an ideal fit to lead Astrobotic’s payload delivery missions to the Moon.  

Frank Peri, former Director for the Safety and Mission Assurance Office at NASA Langley Research Center, has 35 years of executive leadership, most recently leading the institutional safety and mission assurance program, executing complex programs while maintaining standards of quality and safety. Frank’s background will be invaluable as the company executes Griffin-1, delivering the largest lander to the Moon since the Apollo program.   

Jim Reuter, a former Associate Administrator for Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA, brings significant technical evaluation capability as well as deep knowledge of the state of the art in space technologies.  With a career highlighted by leadership roles in technology programs worth over $1 billion annually, Reuter’s strategic insights will guide Astrobotic in its pursuit of pioneering lunar exploration initiatives such as LunaGrid.  

Michael Gazarik, another former Associate Administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, joins Astrobotic’s advisory board as a seasoned leader in engineering and technology development. Gazarik’s extensive background in spaceflight systems design and deployment, coupled with his role in shaping NASA’s technology roadmap, will provide invaluable guidance to Astrobotic as the company continues to map its future space technology developments and businesses.  

Thornton expressed his excitement about the new additions to the team, stating, “Steve, Jim, Mike, and Frank are ideal leaders to be joining Astrobotic as we take the critical next steps in medium-class deliveries to the Moon with Griffin-1. We’re pleased to have these four veterans aboard to guide our team in the next phase of Astrobotic’s growth.”