The company, which was spun out of Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 by William "Red" Whitaker, has acquired a five-story, 46,000-square-foot building at 1106 Reedsdale Street. Astrobotic is renowned for its pioneering work in space robotics and lunar exploration. It's currently developing the Peregrine Lunar Lander, scheduled for launch in December 2023, marking America's first commercial lunar landing mission since the Apollo program.
Astrobotic's CEO, John Thornton, expressed gratitude for the state's support, noting, "We believe Astrobotic's latest expansion on Reedsdale is a clear indicator of new high-tech growth in the Commonwealth, particularly in the space industry."
This expansion involves a significant investment of more than $20 million in facility renovations, aiming to create 283 new, high-tech jobs while retaining 174 current employees. Astrobotic's plan includes utilizing four of the building's five floors for expansion beyond its existing headquarters. The ground floor will be partially leased to the Keystone Space Collaborative for its Keystone Innovation Center, serving as a programmatic and co-working space.
The Pennsylvania government, under Governor Josh Shapiro, has played a crucial role in facilitating this growth. The state has provided a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), including a $1,981,000 Pennsylvania First grant, a $2.4 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan, and Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding, along with private bank financing. These efforts are part of Governor Shapiro's broader initiative to invest over $1 billion in new private sector investments since January, aiming to position Pennsylvania as a leader in innovation and economic development.
Governor Shapiro commented on the significance of this investment, stating, "Today, I'm excited to announce that my Administration is investing more than $4 million to support Astrobotic's work to build a space campus and make Pittsburgh a leader in the growing space industry."
Secretary Rick Siger of the Department of Community and Economic Development added, "Astrobotic's expansion in Pennsylvania is yet another outstanding example of our growing technology sector."
This collaboration between the public and private sectors is seen as a model for future economic growth and innovation in the region. Allegheny County Executive-Elect Sara Innamorato highlighted the importance of such partnerships for job growth and innovation in Allegheny County.
Astrobotic's expansion not only represents a significant advancement in Pennsylvania's technological landscape but also serves as a beacon of American leadership in space exploration and robotics. With its roots in local academia and its sights set on lunar frontiers, Astrobotic stands as a symbol of human ambition and the endless possibilities of space exploration. This expansion is more than just an economic development; it's a testament to human ingenuity and the relentless pursuit of the unknown.
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