Astrobotic, a space robotics company located in Pittsburgh’s Northside, announced its plans to launch the Moonshot Museum, Pennsylvania’s first museum dedicated exclusively to space. The new museum, currently under construction and set to open in the summer of 2022, will be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization co-located in a gifted facility inside Astrobotic’s headquarters.
The Museum’s feature attraction will be a large clean room window through which visitors can watch real lunar landers and rovers being built and readied to fly to the Moon. Museum visitors will experience the thrill of spaceflight up close and learn about possible career paths in the $425 billion thriving space industry through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and curated experiences.
“Space is more than just rocket science. We want to provide the ‘spark’ – that moment when an individual is inspired to pursue a space or tech career who may not have otherwise done so. For Astrobotic, success is as much about execution of its other-worldly missions and business as it is about engaging with and serving the communities it is a part of,” said John Thornton, Astrobotic CEO and Chair of the Moonshot Museum’s Board of Directors. “When you mention space, people think of different things. Whether it’s stars, planets, astronauts, or engineers, a common theme is the persistence of curiosity. Curiosity is a spark that can either catch fire or fizzle out – and we want it to catch!” said Sam Moore, Executive Director of the Moonshot Museum. “Fostering confidence for those traditionally under-represented in STEAM is of vital importance,” added Moore.
The Moonshot Museum’s mission is to make space more accessible by inspiring a diverse audience to write the future of space commerce, science, exploration, and settlement. Both digital and on-site educational workshops will simulate real space missions and foster tech career awareness and readiness in the Pittsburgh region and around the world. The programs will aim to propel individuals of all backgrounds to pursue space careers across a variety of disciplines ranging from science and engineering to medicine, business, law, policy, and the humanities and arts.
“It’s about creating STEAM opportunities that will change a child’s life,” said Bill Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh. “Looking in through that clean room window, they’ll be able to see something that will leave this planet, and they’ll be changed forever. It’s about bringing the Moon to Pittsburgh.”
The Moonshot Museum is supported by numerous partners, and the Museum’s facilities and utilities have been gifted by Astrobotic. Seed funding and startup operations for the Moonshot Museum are made possible with the support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
“The Foundation made this lead gift to enable people to see first-hand Pittsburgh’s leadership role in the future of lunar travel, and to inspire young people to imagine their own futures in this exciting and growing industry,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
The museum is currently seeking donations through its website, and welcomes space, science, and education enthusiasts to volunteer to help run future museum programs. For more information, please visit moonshotmuseum.org.