Mission: Access

From the Blog

Astrobotic Aims for Making Space Accessible Through Lunar Mission

The launch of the ULA Vulcan rocket attached to the Astrobotic Peregrine lander later this year represents more than the first commercial mission to the Moon. It is emblematic of a new era of space exploration defined by public-private partnerships. 

Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic, which began at Carnegie Mellon University, has grown into a 165-person space robotics company focusing on building landers and rovers that transport and deliver customer payloads across the lunar surface.

The company’s mantra is “making space accessible to the world,” a sentiment reflected in the fact that multiple nations, companies, organizations and individuals will participate in the Peregrine mission. 

In addition, the company has been instrumental in building and supporting the Keystone Space Collaborative, which seeks to convene, grow and amplify space industry businesses and talent across the region. 

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No Quarters? No Problem: Meter Feeder Revolutionizes Parking Payments

In Jim Gibbs’ world, parking tickets are so last-century. 

The CEO and co-founder of Meter Feeder, an app that allows motorists to pay for parking from their mobile devices, recalls having lunch with a colleague who suggested the idea after digging a handful of parking tickets out of her purse. 

After that, Gibbs and co-founder Dan Lopretto built the first framework as part of a local hackathon, which they won. Since then, they have drawn more than $1 million in funding across seed and pre-seed rounds, and recently announced that the company raised $2.6 million in a seed round extension.   

Gibbs’ long-term vision is to simplify parking payments for both individuals and municipalities. He notes that companies with large car and truck fleets can save billions in parking tickets by using Meter Feeder, but municipalities also benefit better parking compliance and efficient payments.

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“To drive sustainable growth, U.S. companies are forming collaborative ecosystems spanning multiple technology disciplines and industries — like the ones TCS, CMU, startups and other partners will foster right here at TCS Pace Port Pittsburgh … together, we are answering the call to innovate with speed.”

Ananth Krishnan, chief technology officer at India-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on the launch of a brand new co-innovation and advanced research center on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus
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Space robotics company seeks to make industry universally accessible