Pittsburgh Company Has Its Sights Set On The Moon

Astrobotic, based in the Strip District, has been selected to develop its lunar lander to deliver payloads to the Moon’s surface

Joe DeStio
November 30, 2018 - 12:43 pm
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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - A Pittsburgh company is going to the Moon.  Astrobotic, based in the Strip District, has been selected to develop its lunar lander to deliver payloads to the Moon’s surface. Astrobotic is developing its Peregrine Lander which measures about ten by seven feet and can carry more than 500 pounds of payload.

“It rides on top of a launch vehicle that we purchase a ride to space from and then our Peregrine Lander flies the rest of the way to the surface of the Moon and does its landing”, according to Astrobotic President and CEO John Thornton. “We even have technology that can fly, autonomously, through caves underneath the surface of the Moon.”

NASA selected Astrobotic and eight other companies to bid on contracts to carry science experiments and other payloads. Thornton says the first flights are expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

Related: 'Destination Moon' Shows How Vital Pittsburgh Was To Apollo Mission

Astrobotic was created out of Carnegie-Mellon University in 2007. The company has just 18 employees. You can see a mock-up of its Peregrine Lander at the Heinz History Center.

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