Moonshot Museum opened to the public on October 15, 2022, debuting Pennsylvania’s first space museum and the first museum to focus on career readiness for the contemporary space industry.
Launching a new model for collaboration between education-focused nonprofits and innovative industry, Moonshot Museum will send visitors on simulated lunar missions designed to foster space career and community readiness and propel young people of all backgrounds to pursue space-related careers across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM), including space careers in medicine, business, law, policy and the humanities.
“The Moonshot Museum is a decade-long dream turned reality. It was designed for the community to literally step into the world of the space industry. We want young people to see themselves in our work, meet the real people building spacecraft, and discover that there’s a place for them in space,” said John Thornton, founding board member of Moonshot Museum and Astrobotic CEO.
The Moonshot Museum aims to inspire both the Pittsburgh region and beyond. Its mission is to make space more accessible by inspiring a diverse new generation to write the future of space commerce, science, exploration and settlement. Partnered with Pittsburgh-based space robotics company Astrobotic, the Museum will feature a wall of glass through which visitors will watch real lunar landers being built and readied to fly to the Moon. This visibility plugs guests into the real-time work of space through immersive simulated mission experiences, real space industry problem-solving, and direct access to Pittsburgh space professionals.
“After years of designing, thinking, building, prototyping and engaging with students and members of the Pittsburgh community, we cannot wait to welcome visitors to explore a museum unlike any other,” said Sam Moore, Moonshot Museum Executive Director. “We’re thrilled to light a unique spark of space-centered curiosity in our community and spotlight the incredible space industry here in Western Pennsylvania.”
As an independent nonprofit organization, Moonshot Museum has raised more than $2.5 million to support its construction and operations, including a recent $300,000 grant in July 2022 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation following its initial $500,000 grant to seed startup operations for the Museum in 2020.
“A bedrock component of the Foundation’s economic-development strategy always has been to make bets on visionaries who see opportunities to harness technology to make Pittsburgh a national destination in new and promising economic sectors, and who are committed to making those opportunities available to the people of our communities,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. “The leaders of the Moonshot Museum are such visionaries, and we can’t wait for the community at large to see what they’ve accomplished.”