families explore hands on space exhibits at the Moonshot Museum in Pittsburgh Credit: David Whitemyer, Luci Creative

Insider's Guide: Moonshot Museum

Plan Your Visit to this One-Of-a-Kind, Interactive Space Museum

Don't let the word museum in the title fool you. Moonshot Museum, located in Pittsburgh's Northside, is a hands-on, interactive experience from the moment you walk inside. A separate nonprofit organization, Moonshot has the privilege of sharing the building with Astrobotic, Pittsburgh’s space robotics company.

Guests will engage with multiple, interactive space exhibits, see real spacecraft be assembled as they visit and look to the stars to envision their own space careers.

We've developed this helpful guide to planning your visit so you know exactly what to expect on your first trip!

Main Image Credit: David Whitemyer, Luci Creative

Photo Credit: David Whitemyer, Luci Creative

You Control the Mission

While most museums are broken into separate floors and unrelated exhibits, Moonshot Museum is one interconnected experience that guides visitors through many different facets of exploring the 21st century space industry. Each section presents a unique challenge, such as designing a lunar rover, where your choice of power supply affects what resources you're able to dig for and for how long.

These individual units go beyond mathematics and engineering problems to engage all types of learners. Guests can engage in lively debate surrounding cosmic political questions, tap into their design skills to create a mission patch, and explore a map of the Moon highlighting important missions and geography. Moonshot Museum provides a literal window into the real work of the space industry, giving plenty of reasons to book a return trip.

Bonus Tip: On the way out of the museum, don't miss the small purple exhibit labeled Hope Moonshot. Be sure to fill this out so your messages can literally be sent to the Moon on one of Astrobotic's future missions.

Photo Credit: David Whitemyer, Luci Creative

Watch Real Spacecraft be Assembled

Perhaps the coolest twist of this innovative museum is that while guests are engaging in their own lunar adventure, a real mission is going on at the same time. Floor to ceiling windows give guests a view into Astrobotic’s Clean Room workshop as real lunar landers and rovers are being assembled before their journey to the Moon.

Guests can see the Griffin Lander being meticulously engineered and tested in real-time for its commercial space mission. The lander will be used to take NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon’s South Pole on a quest for ice! This mission will help inform NASA’s Artemis mission plans to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon in the years ahead.

As this is an active mission, what you see being worked on each visit can vary, but right now you can see the completed Peregrine Lunar Lander there until its mission begins in summer 2023, and Griffin currently under construction.

Launches and More Coming Soon

Be sure to follow Moonshot and Astrobotic closely as launch days near. When completed, lunar landers and rovers will exit straight through the museum on their way to the launchpad. Surrounding exciting events like launch and landing, Moonshot will offer special programming to Museum Members and partners in the community.

As this is a brand new museum, what we've written about is just all of the fun we know of right now. Moonshot Museum will be constantly adapting as the mission of Astrobotic as the company grows and the space industry changes, and the missions you take part in and landers you see being constructed may change drastically in a year or two! 

Photo Credit: David Whitemyer, Luci Creative

Tickets and Parking

Museum hours change seasonally so please visit their website for current operating hours. Admission is $5 for kids 3-17, free for 2 and under, and $10 for adults.

Parking during the week is extremely limited, so please use their website for help identifying nearby lots and use public transportation whenever possible (Moonshot is just a short walk from Acrisure Stadium and the T stop). The Museum/Astrobotic parking lot is available for visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Educators, Moonshot Museum has a webpage just for you for assistance booking field trips and outreach for your school's visit.

Photo Credit: David Whitemyer, Luci Creative