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Author Topic:   Astrobotics' lunar logistics headquarters
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 44845
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-12-2019 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astrobotic release
Astrobotic Announces New Lunar Logistics Headquarters in Pittsburgh

Astrobotic to open new state-of-the-art, 47,000 square foot facility in May 2020 for the development of lunar landers and rovers

Astrobotic proudly announces 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.

Above: Astrobotic's new headquarters in the Pittsburgh North Side Neighborhood of Manchester, will be the primary hub for lunar logistics in the United States.

"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.

Above: The spacecraft assembly cleanroom will be capable of supporting up to 4 lunar lander missions simultaneously.

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."

Above: The Astrobotic Mission Control will be the nerve center for the first U.S. mission to the lunar surface since Apollo.

About Astrobotic

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.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 44845
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-20-2020 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astrobotic release
Astrobotic Unveils New 47,000sq.ft. Headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA

Astrobotic officially opened its new headquarters in Pittsburgh in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday. The 47,000 square foot complex is the largest private facility in the world dedicated to lunar logistics. Astrobotic's Peregrine and Griffin lunar landers will be built on-site, with Peregrine set to become the first commercial mission to the Moon, and the first American lander on the Moon since the Apollo missions.

"I like to say we're a 13-year overnight success story," said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. "In the past 18 months, we grew from a staff of 18 to more than 100 employees, with two funded lander missions and a rover mission to the Moon, and multiple contracts to develop exciting new space technologies. It's still surreal."

Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by a wide range of prominent federal, state, and local officials, including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb, Pennsylvania Governor's Action Team SW Director Eric Bitar, Allegheny Country Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. They were joined by local business and community leaders LaShawn Burton Faulk, Executive Director of Manchester Citizens Corporation, Sam Reiman, Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and David Malone, Chairman and CEO of Gateway Financial.

"You [Astrobotic] are currently leading the market with seventeen contracts in place for your first mission with customers in seven countries," says US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. "The Commerce Department will continue to make resources available to you and to the broader U.S. commercial space industry to ensure that we remain the leader in space commerce."

"I personally want to thank all the folks at Astrobotic for taking on this national mission. You are a big part of our strategy going forward to be a successful, strong, growing economy in a country that is well-defended and well-represented in space. So thank you very much, we're proud of you," says U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb.

Astrobotic's headquarters houses offices, labs, and fabrication areas, including a "clean room" and "high bay" required for final spacecraft assembly. Astrobotic will use the facility to build its lines of landers, rovers, autonomous spacecraft navigation systems, and other space technologies. The facility will also be used to operate them. When Peregrine lands on the Moon next year, it will be controlled directly from the Astrobotic Mission Control Center inside the Pittsburgh headquarters.

Phase two of the headquarters' construction, now underway, will add a rover test pit, a drone flying arena, a public gathering space, additional offices, labs, and fabrication spaces.

The opening of the headquarters marks a major milestone in the company's history. After its inception as a private company spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, Astrobotic started in a 400 square foot room above a bagel shop in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood. It later moved to a former steel-stamping factory in the Strip District, and then an office building downtown. The company has grown rapidly, signing fifteen commercial customers representing seven countries for its lunar payload delivery service, and winning a $79.5 million NASA contract to fly scientific instruments aboard Peregrine, and again in June by winning a $199.5 million contract to deliver NASA's water-hunting rover, VIPER, to the south pole of the Moon.

"The first Astrobotic mission, which will fly on Peregrine, will deliver about a dozen NASA-developed payloads to a mid-latitude region on the Moon. These NASA-developed payloads will range in capabilities from technologies to demonstrations, demonstrate functionality in the unique environment of the Moon. We'll also fly science instruments, so we'll obtain important scientific data to help inform our future exploration missions," says Ryan Stephan, NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Payload Integration Manager.

Astrobotic's new headquarters is located in Pittsburgh's Northside, home to five historical districts. The headquarters is within a mile of several popular cultural destinations, including The Carnegie Science Center, Heinz Field, Stage AE the National Aviary, and the Children's Museum.

"The innovation sector in Pennsylvania, and especially here in Pittsburgh, has been a powerhouse for the Commonwealth. And that's thanks to companies like Astrobotic who have operated and grown here in Pittsburgh since their founding thirteen years ago…Astrobotic is at the forefront of developing advanced robotics for lunar operations that will help propel the industry into the future and further cement Pittsburgh's status as an international hub," says Eric Bitar, Governor's Action Team (GAT) SW Director.

"It's really a story about what Pittsburgh has always been," says Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. "We've always been a place of innovation. Always a place of the next technology…"

"I was five years old when we landed on the Moon. By the time I was six years old, I could name every planet. And that is an opportunity that is now down the street for every young Pittsburgh child. This is the technology of the engineers, and the dreamers, and the scientists from our region. And this is the product that you [Astrobotic] have given us to give to the world," says Mayor Bill Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh.

"Technology and robotics give Pittsburgh a competitive edge, and companies like Astrobotic – a venture that's successfully commercialized its advanced space robotics capabilities and is a rising star – are catalyzing interest in Pittsburgh, creating job growth and carrying the banner for this region's unrelenting drive to innovate, shape the world and own the future," said Mark Anthony Thomas, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the region's economic development organization. "As one of the largest private facilities of its kind anywhere, Astrobotic's new headquarters and lunar operations facility is proof that remarkable things are happening in Pittsburgh."

At the opening ceremony, and as Astrobotic employees return to work at the new facility, the company has required masks and limited building capacity to allow for greater social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Astrobotic has also enlisted Checklist Facility Maintenance cleaning services to maintain high sanitary standards.

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