Astrobotic announces new lunar logistics headquarters in Pittsburgh
(12 December 2019 - Astrobotic) Astrobotic has announced that it will open a new state-of-the-art headquarters for lunar logistics in May 2020.
The 47,000 square foot facility in Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood of Manchester will house the company’s spacecraft integration cleanrooms, test facilities, lab spaces, rover test labs, payload operations room, and dedicated mission control. Astrobotic’s new headquarters is poised to become the epicenter for America’s return to the Moon.
Astrobotic’s new headquarters in the Pittsburgh North Side Neighborhood of Manchester, will be the primary hub for lunar logistics in the United States. (courtesy: Astrobotic)
“This new facility marks the next phase of Astrobotic’s growth and will be the primary hub for lunar logistics in the United States. Our headquarters will be used to design, build, and test lunar landers and rovers all under one roof, and then operate those vehicles from our own mission control right here in Pittsburgh,” said Astrobotic CEO, John Thornton.
The facility will feature 15,000 square feet of cleanroom and lab space that can support up to 4 lunar lander missions simultaneously. Within the lab space, there will be environmental test facilities designed to simulate lunar and launch vehicle environments for mission hardware operations, a machine shop for parts manufacturing, a fluids lab for propulsion testing, and a high-power lab for battery assembly and testing. In addition to these lander mission development capabilities, the new facility will feature a space mobility and lunar simulant lab, where mobile rovers can test drive in synthetic lunar regolith.
The Astrobotic Mission Control will be the nerve center for the first U.S. mission to the lunar surface since Apollo. (courtesy: Astrobotic)
Once customer payload integration is completed, finished lunar landers and rovers will be transported to Cape Canaveral for integration with launch vehicle. Following launch, Astrobotic will operate the mission from its Pittsburgh-headquartered mission control including the landing, power, communications and rover operations on the Moon.
The headquarters will be a short walk from the Carnegie Science Center and Heinz Field, and promises to be a new landmark in Western Pennsylvania. The new facility will host Astrobotic’s growing workforce, which has tripled in the last 4 months and continues to expand at a rapid pace.
“Only three nations have landed on the surface of the Moon.” said Thornton, “Pittsburgh Nation will be the next.”
Astrobotic Technology, Inc. is a space robotics company that seeks to make space accessible to the world. The company’s lunar lander, Peregrine, delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, non-profits, and individuals for $1.2 million per kilogram. Astrobotic was selected by NASA in May 2019 for a $79.5 million contract to deliver payloads to the Moon in 2021. The company is also developing advanced space robotics capabilities such as terrain relative navigation, mobile robotics for lunar surface operations, and reliable computing systems for mission-critical applications. The company also has more than 30 prior and ongoing NASA and commercial technology contracts, a commercial partnership with Airbus DS, and a corporate sponsorship with DHL. Astrobotic was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.