Texas has NASA. There is a National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Florida has the Kennedy Space Center. And the Moonshot Museum is opening soon in Pittsburgh.
Art. was announced Moonshot Museum will open to the public on October 15. A press release describes the project, developed in collaboration with Pittsburgh-based space robotics company Astrobotic, as Pennsylvania’s first space museum and “the first museum in the world to focus on career readiness for today’s space industry.”
On the eve of the opening day, the Moonshot Museum will host the exhibition exclusive preview On October 13, a member of the community in the North Side, where the facility is located. From there, the Moonshot Museum will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, with admission costing $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-17.
Construction on the 3,000-square-foot exhibit and program space began in June and, once open, promises to “promote space careers and community readiness, and encourage young people of all backgrounds to pursue space-related careers across the spectrum of science and technology . , engineering, art, and math (STEAM), including space careers in medicine, business, law, politics, and the humanities.”
“The final countdown to the opening of the Moonshot Museum is officially underway,” says Moonshot Museum Executive Director Sam Moore. “After years of designing, brainstorming, building, prototyping and interacting with students and members of the Pittsburgh community, we can’t wait to welcome visitors to explore a museum unlike any other. We are excited to ignite a unique spark of space curiosity in our community and bring attention to the incredible space industry here in Western Pennsylvania.”
As an independent, non-profit organization, the museum will fulfill its stated mission of inspiring “a diverse community to find its place in the future of space exploration.” Visitors will be able to experience simulated lunar missions and watch real lunar landers “being built and prepared for a flight to the moon,” offering a glimpse into “the workings of space in real time through exciting simulated missions, real-world problem solving in the space industry, and direct access to professionals at the Pittsburgh Space Field.’
“The Moonshot Museum is a ten-year dream come true. It was designed to allow the community to literally step into the world of the space industry,” says Astrobotic CEO John Thornton, who is a founding board member of the Moonshot Museum. “We want young people to see themselves in our work, meet real people who build spacecraft, and learn that there is a place for them in space.”
The first such museum in the commonwealth received great support. In January, the museum announced it had raised $1.7 million from a variety of contributors, including First National Bank, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Allegheny Foundation and the Haumet Aerospace Foundation.
At the time, Moore said the funding would cover costs “across the spectrum of exhibit design, construction and innovative programming.”
In July, Moonshot also received a $300,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
“A core component of the Foundation’s economic development strategy has always been to bet on visionaries who see opportunities to use technology to make Pittsburgh a national destination in new and promising economic sectors, and who are committed to making those opportunities available to people in our communities,” said Sam Rayman, Director 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.”