🗣 Locals to Know: Meet Sam Moore, the person helping to take Pittsburgh to the moon

the incline locals to know sam moore moonshot museum pittsburgh pa

Once again, it’s time for another edition of The Incline’s Locals to Know series. It’s when we cede the spotlight to a local person or organization who’s made their mark on the larger Pittsburgh community. Keep an eye out over the weeks to come for more of these interviews, and if you know of someone or some org that we ought to feature, don’t hesitate to send them our way. 

Name: Sam Moore

Social Media: @MoonshotMuseum 

Website: htttps://moonshotmuseum.org

Tell us about your work — your job and/or any volunteer work. 

I’m biased, but I have the best job on the planet. In my role as executive director, I’m leading the creation of a living lab and a museum unlike any other on Earth at Moonshot Museum in Pittsburgh’s Northside. From exhibition design, to programming, to fundraising and partnership-building, my ten months in the pilot seat have been out of this world! I have the privilege of working with partners ranging from engineers and astrophysicists at space robotics company Astrobotic to creators at Carnegie Science Center and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, to big picture thinkers in our local charitable foundation community, and every day my personal mission is to make space more accessible for our Pittsburgh community and to inspire a diverse new generation to discover how they fit into the future of space exploration. 

What’s your favorite Pittsburgh memory? 

I had the chance to work extensively with Joanne Rogers when I oversaw programming at the Heinz History Center. As a lifelong fan of her husband’s work, every moment spent with Joanne, laughing or in conversation, is a memory I cherish. Fred and Joanne Rogers embodied all of my very favorite things about Pittsburgh as my adopted hometown—a community in which people look out for each other, support one another, and a community that’s always up for trying something new!

Pick a favorite local outdoor experience. What is it? What’re we doing? Who’s going with ya?

As a Northside (Manchester!) resident, some of my very best outdoor experiences here in Pittsburgh have been just steps from my front door. Spring and summer walks with my husband along the riverfront on the North Shore, drinks on the patio at Federal Galley, and hangouts with our dog Hank at the Allegheny Commons dog park immediately jump to mind!

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Another Northside-based answer here! 40 North opened last year in the City of Asylum restaurant space, and their menu is phenomenal. Set me up with their khachapuri cheese bread, roasted chicken, and a “This Lifethyme” cocktail every day of the week and I’ll be a happy camper.

What’s your favorite local Instagram or TikTok account and why? 

I love how @KeepPittsburghDope consistently showcases Pittsburgh’s inherent dope-ness. Chancelor Humphrey is a crazy good photographer and somehow always manages to capture an angle of Pittsburgh I haven’t seen before. It’s a consistent stop on my Instagram feed!

What’s a project you’re working on (big or small) and how can our readers help you with it?

We’re taking Pittsburgh to the moon at Moonshot Museum, and we’re building a brand-new nonprofit organization with a brand-new way of doing things, entirely from the ground up. We’re telling the story of the space industry of today and tomorrow and unpacking the huge potential that exists for young people in our communities of all backgrounds, interests, and lived experiences. It’s a big project, and any support readers are willing to throw our way is deeply appreciated! You can learn more about our mission at Moonshot Museum and donate to support our opening and construction at moonshotmuseum.org/donate.

What are you looking forward to this year?

2022 is literally going to be out-of-this-world in Pittsburgh. We plan to open Moonshot Museum in the latter half of the year, and we’ll have a front-row seat when Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lunar Lander becomes the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon in almost 50 years and the first commercial company to ever land on the moon’s surface. And it’s all happening right here at Mission Control Pittsburgh! I can’t wait for space to be a bigger part of the conversation around Pittsburgh’s leadership in technology and innovation, and we’re thrilled to help lead that shift with our work at Moonshot Museum.

Interested in being featured and want to share your own cool project in the ‘Burgh? Send an email to hello@theincline.com with the subject line “TI Locals to Know 2022” and you might just see yourself in a future newsletter.