“I’m Making The Moon Accessible To The World”

November 06, 2020 by Dan Green

Meet John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. John shares his story, how he came to run a space robotics company, and the literal business of taking a moon shot.

John Thornton: Sending Cargo To The Moon

This is the story of John Thornton and his role as CEO of Astrobotic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Astrobotic is a space robotics company that flies cargo into space and to the moon for corporations, universities, and governments. The company builds its own spacecraft and aims to make the moon accessible to the world.

John was hired into Astrobotic as a Mechanical Engineer in 2009, straight out of college. He passed on an opportunity to work for a big aerospace firm in favor of a startup. He wanted the opportunity to innovate and have a hand in the development of a vehicle.

John earned multiple promotions and is now Chief Executive Officer.

As CEO,  John oversees the day-to-day operations at Astrobotic, working with the Business Development Team, the Mission Team, and the Future Missions and Technology Team to create a cohesive unit that operates in sync.

He recognizes the role his company is playing in history.

“If you go back one hundred years,” John says, “flying commercially in airplanes was unheard of. Today, people are beginning to see the possibilities of robotic cargo transit”

In the interview, John gives career advice to people with an interest in robotics, telling them to just go out and create things. “I’ve always loved math and science,” he says, “and I’ve always loved things that move.”

“Robotics is all these disciplines, put together.”

Watch the entire interview with John Thornton, CEO at Astrobotic.

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