Governor Josh Shapiro toured Astrobotic Technology, a state-of-the-art aerospace and robotics company in Pittsburgh, to highlight Pennsylvania’s growing innovation economy. During the visit, Governor Shapiro pointed to Astrobotic as an example of the kind of innovation his Administration will foster across Pennsylvania, and he announced that he will call for a significant down payment in innovation and economic development in his Budget Address before the General Assembly next Tuesday.
Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal will include a 50% increase for the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program – which connects Pennsylvania’s universities with businesses to find new solutions and spur innovation – and a 25% increase in funding for computer science and STEM education through Pennsylvania’s PA Smart Program. While at Astrobotic, Governor Shapiro also announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, has awarded the Keystone Space Collaborative a $400,000 grant to grow the space industry and workforce.
“Astrobotic is an excellent example of the enormous potential we have here in Pennsylvania to innovate and lead, and we’re proud that the first commercial spacecraft to land on the moon is from Pittsburgh,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “My Administration is committed to fostering innovation, creating jobs, and spurring economic development across the Commonwealth, and that’s why I’m calling for a significant down payment in innovation and economic development in my first budget. Pennsylvania is open for business, we’re going to be a leader in the industries of the future, and my Administration is ready to make that happen.”
Governor Shapiro was joined by Astrobotic Chief Executive Officer John Thornton and Keystone Space Collaborative Chair Justine Kasznica to see the how the Pittsburgh company is making Pennsylvania’s first spacecraft, which is scheduled to begin its journey to the moon in May.
“There’s a new kind of space race in America. Texas is signaling to invest $300M+ in their space economy this year. Florida has also consistently prioritized millions per year. Here in Pennsylvania, Astrobotic has converted $6.59 million of support into $430 million for the local economy. Imagine the opportunity for continued small business growth and job creation Pennsylvania could see if we bolstered state investment towards this burgeoning new space industry. Pittsburgh is leading America back to the Moon – and this is just the beginning,” said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s founder and CEO.