PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Astrobotic, a “lunar logistics” company, has announced that it will open headquarters in the North Side.
Astrobotic announced Thursday that its 47,000 square foot facility in the North Side neighborhood of Manchester will open in May 2020.
Remember the famous line from “Apollo 13,” depicted by Tom Hanks in the NBC Universal film?
“Houston, we have a problem.”
That may change in the future.
“It will be … Pittsburgh, we have a problem, and hopefully, the problem won’t be too bad,” said CEO of Astrobotic John Thornton
Thornton said this old post office in Manchester will soon become a high-tech headquarters and mission control for an ambitious project.
“Astrobotic is building a delivery system to take payloads up to the surface of the moon. Our customers are sending packages like science instruments, rovers, exploration devices, up to the surface of the moon.”
It’s like UPS to the moon, and lunar landers and moon rovers will be designed and tested here.
“We’re going to move over our current 65 employees, and then we are going to continue to grow in that space so that the building will be able to support up to 150 employees,” said Thornton.
Also on site will be a new mission control operation.
“We’re going to have landers and rovers landing and driving on the surface of the moon, and all of that imagery and data will be streaming back to our mission control in Pittsburgh, where we are then going to distribute that out to our customers.”
Mayor Bill Peduto said space exploration may soon be identified with Pittsburgh as it is with Houston and Florida.
“It just shows how robotics and artificial intelligence with the background in manufacturing can help to steer Pittsburgh into this new area of industry,” said Peduto.
While Astrobotic won’t say much yet, watch for this site to also become a public attraction for young and old.