Learn about space exploration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Astrobotics offer visitors a firsthand look at upcoming missions in the making.

Tables and science displays in laboratory at Moonshot Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (photo courtesy of Moonshot Museum)

At Pittsburgh’s Moonshot Museum, visitors will see firsthand how the Steel City is helping lead the nation back to the surface of the moon. The museum, which opened in 2022, is under one roof with a private commercial space company called Astrobotic, which is building a series of uncrewed lunar landers and rovers.

Visitors can watch technicians assembling these spacecraft through a shared wall that looks into Astrobotic’s facilities. The company’s first lander, Peregrine, was launched from Cape Canaveral in late December 2023. A second much larger lander, Griffin, is slotted for launch in late 2024 with the mission of locating potential water sources near the moon’s South Pole. (Spring and summer visitors to the Moonshot Museum should be able to see the Griffin in its final stages of construction.)

Elsewhere in the museum, exhibits educate visitors about the phases of space exploration planned over the next half century. A mural depicts artistic renderings of future lunar landscapes, while models of the small rovers that will carry materials across the moon’s surface are also on display. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore future missions to the moon and to study the moon’s geology to find potential sites for human habitation. Visitors can also consider the energy resources needed for space exploration and learn how to build a lunar rover.

Children will enjoy designing their own mission patches and can even compose messages and draw pictures that will be scanned and sent on future space missions. A special focus of the museum is to prepare the next generation for potential space careers in the coming decades, including biomedical research in low gravity, space law and robotic engineering. Visitors learn not only that exploration of the moon is beginning anew but also how they can play a part in it. 1016 N. Lincoln Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15233, 412/314-4111, moonshotmuseum.org