Allegheny County

Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic aiming for trip to the moon

PITTSBURGH — State leaders are calling Astrobotic the new Pennsylvania emerging out of the ashes of the old.

“I’m so excited that this is happening here in Pennsylvania, here in Pittsburgh, if Pittsburgh can land on the moon,” said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton.

Gov. Tom Wolf and other state and local leaders got a first-class tour of Astrobotic on the North Shore.

“This is reflected of all the great things that are happening. Pittsburgh used to be the city of steel. It’s now the city of advanced manufacturing of AI, and now the moon,” said Wolf.

Astrobotic is a company that’s focused on going to the moon. In fact, Wolf got to see the rooms where they build spacecraft, recreate the harsh elements of space, and he even test drove one of their Cube-Rovers.

“It’s really an important message, and so I really appreciate your decision to be here in Pittsburgh. John is a CMU graduate and came to Pittsburgh for school and never left,” said Wolf.

“So, we have upwards of $325 million in NASA contracts in the last few years; and that makes us the region’s largest NASA contractor,” said Thornton.

Astrobotic’s fleet of lunar landers and rovers will deliver cargo to the surface of the moon for companies, governments, universities and others. They have two missions scheduled to fly to the moon, which will be controlled in Pittsburgh by their mission control department.

They’re delivering items to the moon later this year and in 2023.