Moonshot Museum Selected for $800k NASA Grant to Expand Outreach & Liftoff New Programs

[Pittsburgh, PA, March 29, 2024] – NASA’s Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions program (TEAMIIFULL) has announced that Astrobotic Foundation’s Moonshot Museum, a pioneering nonprofit that invites the public to find their place in space, has been selected as one of only four institutions nationwide to receive funding. This grant provides essential funding to support the expansion of Moonshot Museum’s innovative programs.

“Cosmic Careers: From the Earth to the Moon” will serve students in grades 5-8 in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, introducing them to the incredible careers that await them in space exploration. The three-year suite of programs will leverage Moonshot Museum’s unique position in Pittsburgh, a hub of 21st-century space industry, to generate a multi-year pathway to careers in space. The program includes mobile outreach initiatives, on-site museum experiences, and virtual simulations, all designed to engage, educate, and inspire the next generation of space leaders. 

“We are thrilled and honored to be selected for this award” said Cathleen Richards, Interim Executive Director of Moonshot Museum. “It is a testament to the unique opportunity that Moonshot Museum has to fuse STEAM learning with the real-world work of the contemporary space industry, and the impact that our programs have had on more than 10,000 students since we opened our doors nearly 18 months ago. This funding will expand our outreach efforts and provide more underserved students with the opportunity to directly engage with NASA missions and the future of the space industry in our region and beyond.”

Over the course of three years, Moonshot Museum’s “Cosmic Careers,” thousands more students will learn about the robots that are paving the way for humanity to return to the Moon through NASA’s Artemis program. Students will trace the mission of NASA’s VIPER rover, to be delivered by Astrobotic’s Griffin lander to the Moon’s South Pole on a quest for water ice, and a mobile planetarium adventure will introduce students to NASA’s goals for innovation in Earth orbit and exploration on the Moon. Immersive field trips will invite students to think creatively about humanity’s future during team-building activities on space entrepreneurship. Classroom programs will enable students to develop experiments and launch them to the edge of space on high altitude balloons, mentored by professionals who design, build, and fly robots.  Students will meet the people who design, build, and fly space robots in NASA centers and commercial space companies like Astrobotic.

“We believe that by exciting and empowering students to pursue careers in space, we are not only shaping the future of the industry but also fostering a new generation of innovators and problem-solvers,” said Mike Hennessy, Manager of Learning and Programs at Moonshot Museum. 

The grant from NASA TEAM II will enable Moonshot Museum to continue its mission of inspiring a new and diverse generation to take their place in the future of space. 

Moonshot Museum is a project of the Astrobotic Foundation. For more information about Moonshot Museum and its programs, please visit To view the NASA press release, please click here.