moonshot museum

The Moonshot Museum is open on Pittsburgh’s Northside

Photo above courtesy of the Moonshot Museum.

Pittsburgh kids have a unique chance to be a part of history at the city’s new Moonshot Museum, set to open on Oct. 15 on the Northside. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, the local company Astrobotic has partnered with the newly created nonprofit museum to put kids in the center of the space race.

The team at the Moonshot Museum has a mission: They want every kid to know that whatever their interests are, there’s a place for them in space.

Sure, some kids are straight-up obsessed with outer space. They will love this museum. A glass wall looks into a clean room where actual lunar landers are being built for NASA’s Artemis space program. From larger lunar vehicles to smaller “toasters on wheels” that scatter out to explore the surface of the moon, much of it is being built right here in Pittsburgh.

moonshot museum
Visitors get a view into the “clean room” where real lunar landers are being built by the Astrobotic team. Photo courtesy of the Moonshot Museum.

But even kids who aren’t as space-obsessed will still find their niche at Moonshot Museum. There’s plenty to learn about and discover.

The goal of the Artemis space program is to establish a permanent settlement on the moon – yes, a moon colony. Think of it like the International Space Station, but anchored to the surface of the moon instead of in orbit. 

This huge project requires artists, designers, chefs, scientists, and legal teams. That’s why the crew at the museum says that every kid has a place in space – and why they hope to foster that interest through programming.

moonshot museum
Visitors can explore a planned lunar habitat. Photo courtesy of Moonshot Museum.

Visitors to Moonshot Museum will have a unique experience each and every time, says Mike Hennessy, manager of learning and programs. The immersive encounter casts visitors as lunar settlers with a mystery to solve. Like a choose-your-own-adventure book, the story is never the same twice. Visitors will solve mechanical conundrums as well as navigate interpersonal conflict amongst lunar settlers. 

Before leaving Moonshot Museum, guests can create a picture or a message that will be sent to the moon on various Artemis missions. (Just how many fart jokes will Pittsburgh kids send to the moon?)

The coolest factoid about Astrobotic and the Moonshot Museum is their role in actual space launches: When these vehicles are sent to space, they are launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center – but mission control is located right here on Pittsburgh’s North Side. 

Moonshot Museum plans to connect with the community in big ways, including partnerships with the Carnegie Science Center and local schools. Once it opens on Oct. 15, the museum will be open Wednesday through Sunday each week. Adult tickets are $10, kids are $5, and little ones aged 2 and under are free. Northside residents are welcome to attend a free neighborhood day on Oct. 13 – just bring proof of address in the 15214, 15233, or 15212 ZIP codes. 

What does a colony on the moon look like? No one is quite sure yet, but one thing is certain: Pittsburgh kids are a part of making it happen.