It’s one small step for man — and just a few small steps from the Carnegie Science Center — but soon Pittsburgh will be closer to the moon and space travel than ever before.
In May, Pittsburgh’s space robotics company Astrobotic announced that the Moonshot Museum will be located inside its newly expanded, 47,000-square-foot Manchester headquarters and “mission control” center at 1016 Lincoln Ave. This week, Astrobotic announced the final exhibit designs for the museum, which will open in the summer of 2022, with a mission to inspire young people to find their place in the future of space exploration.
“We’re building a museum like no other, and we’re thrilled to finally share a look at what the future holds for Moonshot Museum,” says Sam Moore, the museum’s executive director. “We can’t wait to take Pittsburgh on a mission to the moon with this innovative, immersive and cutting-edge experience.”
Visitors will get to see the actual construction of real spacecraft up close, and embark on their own simulated missions to space.
Astrobotic, which received nearly $200 million to deliver a NASA rover to the moon, has become a major player in the new space race. The space industry is estimated at $450 billion and growing, with companies such as Blue Origin and SpaceX joining NASA in pushing the boundaries of space travel and exploration. By the end of the decade, NASA plans to return humans to the moon — and this time, they’ll be there to stay.
“Because the Moonshot Museum is co-located at Astrobotic, visitors will have access to all the contributors who make space exploration happen — engineers, lawyers, writers, designers,” says John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic CEO and board chair for the Moonshot Museum. “They build real spacecraft just steps away from the museum and are eager to inspire visitors, lead tours and give expert presentations at the museum.”
Developed in collaboration with community members, educators, space industry experts and students from throughout the Pittsburgh region, the immersive digital exhibitions will allow visitors to create their own moon colonies, launch businesses in space, or even solve mysteries on the moon.
“The Moonshot Museum will be a place where anyone can see themselves in the future of space exploration,” says South Fayette High School student Aditi Srivastava, host of the InterGALactic Podcast.
The museum’s website features a new preview video and information about the upcoming exhibitions and programs.
A $2.7 million capital campaign is raising money for the construction of the museum and to support programming and operations.
“The Apollo missions inspired an entire generation to dream and push beyond the boundaries,” says Thornton. “The next generation will be inspired here at the Moonshot Museum, seeing and experiencing space flight up close and in person and to experience the thrill along with the engineers.”