Spaceflight Insider

Grabbe joins Astrobotic’s team

Google Lunar X PRIZE contestant Astrobotic rover on surface of the Moon. Image Credit: Astrobotic

Image Credit: Astrobotic

Google Lunar X PRIZE contestant Astrobotic, at one time considered by many to be the frontrunner in the effort to land the first commercial rover on the surface of the Moon (they have since dropped out of the contest), has tapped Kit Grabbe to serve as the organization’s Principal Systems Engineer.

Astrobotic's Kit Grabbe posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Kit Grabbe. Photo Credit: Astrobotic

Over the course of the past 9 months, Astrobotic has tapped four aerospace experts, with Grabbe serving as the technical lead on the Peregrine Lunar Lander system.

“Kit brings a wealth of spacecraft systems engineering experience to Astrobotic. His technical achievements are equally matched by his leadership skills. This hire solidifies the core of our Mission Engineering team and brings us one step closer to our goal of developing a sustainable lunar payload delivery service,” said Sharad Bhaskaran, Mission Director of Astrobotic.

Given Grabbe’s experience in terms of guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C), system architecture and design, integration, and verification, he is considered to be a good fit for a company trying to land a rover on the Moon.

“American achievements began as a space race, but we have enjoyed the return on that investment many times over in the areas of science, economy, technology, as well as national defense, contributing to greater peace across the planet. I am eager to continue that legacy by making our lunar delivery service a reality!” Grabbe said via a release issued by the company.

Grabbe has more than 24 years’ worth of experience in the aerospace industry, having worked for NASA, the Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community, as well as commercial companies. The missions he has contributed to include GRAIL, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, and NASA’s new crew-rated spacecraft – Orion.

Grabbe has also helped Northrop Grumman in the development of a bus architecture for a 6U CubeSat, an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter class spacecraft mission. He has also worked for Lockheed Martin Space Systems where he worked on the GN&C requirements for Orion’s Launch Abort System.



Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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