On June 14th, Astrobotic hosted 19 interns from the NASA Glenn Space and Aeronautics Academy program in Cleveland, OH. The Academy is an intensive summer program that introduces high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students likely to be future leaders in space activity to how NASA functions. They came to learn more about Pittsburgh’s first commercial space entrepreneurs. The interns visited the Astrobotic office located in the Strip District of Pittsburgh where they got a look at Gravity Offload and the Polaris rover slated for Astrobotic’s 2015 mission, then toured the Planetary Robotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, where they saw Astrobotic’s Griffin lander and the P3 rover.
The interns got to see that Astrobotic is not just another Google XPrize team, but a serious new space start-up. President John Thornton, Director of Guidance, Navigation, and Control Kevin Peterson, and Director of Structures and Mechanisms Steven Huber presented talks on aspects of Astrobotic’s business – company history, the high-level business model and development strategy, the company’s landing technology, and strategy for landing near and exploring a lunar skylight.
Jacob Podlruhi, Logistics and Operations Manager for the 2013 NASA Glenn Space Academy, was enthusiastic about the visit. “Astrobotic definitely seems like an awesome place for our interns to visit to get a taste of the space industry. [The visit was] successful, educational, and totally worth the trip.”
Support for the NASA Space and Aeronautics Academy is provided by the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project and a few commercial sponsors.