Moonshot Museum

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 the Astrobotic building. 

Guests will take an active role in a simulated space mission, see real spacecraft be assembled as they visit and look to the stars to envision their own space careers.

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

What to Expect

As the Moonshot Museum is the first of its kind, it's almost as helpful to explain what this new museum is not. Don't expect a quiet room with artifacts from 50 years ago behind glass. The Moonshot Museum is active and energetic, looking to the future of space travel!

The main focus of Moonshot is career readiness, with an experience built around allowing guests, especially kids, to picture themselves in the variety of careers possible in the space industry. Moonshot is recommended most for kids 11-15, but younger learners can also participate with a loved ones' assistance.

Despite the word moon being in the title, this isn't a look back to the Apollo missions. Instead, Moonshot shows the future of the space industry that Pittsburgh is very much a part of. Astrobotic (the space company adjoining the museum) will help return America to the surface of the moon for the first time in 40 years and Moonshot provides a real-time look at what's happening now and soon-to-come in this rapidly expanding industry.

You Control the Mission

While most museums are broken into separate floors and unrelated exhibits, Moonshot Museum is one interconnected experience that puts visitors in charge of a simulated space mission. 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 and tell the full story of a space mission. Not only does the rocket need to launch, you also need to convene the cosmic city council and solve political questions related to the mission, use your design skills to create your mission patch and analyze the surface of the moon to pick the ideal landing spot.

Just as the space industry is constantly evolving, no two visits to Moonshot will be exactly alike. Look for new missions on a regular basis from Moonshot, giving guests 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 hopes can literally be sent to the moon on one of Astrobotic's future missions.

Watch Real Spacecraft be Assembled

Perhaps the coolest twist of this innovative museum is that while guests are completing their mission, 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.

As of October 2022, guests can see the Peregrine lunar lander being meticulously engineered and tested in real-time for its commercial space mission. The lander can be outfitted with payloads above and below decks which will then be delivered in orbit or on the lunar surface. As this is an active mission, what you see being worked on each visit can vary, but be sure to see Peregrine soon before its mission begins at the end of the year and the Griffin lander begins construction.

Launches and More Coming Soon

Be sure to follow Moonshot and Astrobotic closely as launch days near. When completed, lunars and rovers will exit straight through the museum on their way to the launchpad. On actual launch day, Moonshot will change up its programming to incorporate live feeds of mission control, allowing the public unmatched access to space travel.

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! 

Opening Day, Tickets and Parking

Moonshot Museum officially opened to the public Oct. 15, 2022.

The museum is open Wednesdays-Sundays for visits from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $5 for kids 3-17, free for 2 and under, and $10 for adults.

Parking 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).

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