Pittsburghers vote to send Kennywood token to the moon
A tiny piece of Kennywood Park may soon blast its way into space.
A token from the West Mifflin amusement park is the voters’ choice to represent Pittsburgh culture in the first commercial moon landing in 2021.
More than 20,000 votes from Western Pennsylvania (and beyond) were cast as part of the Senator John Heinz History Center’s #MoonBox campaign to make the selection.
The museum is partnering with Pittsburgh-based space robotics company Astrobotic on the campaign, which is celebrating the “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” exhibition’s final weekend. The token received more than 51 percent of the public vote. It will be launched 240,000 miles to the lunar surface through Astrobotic’s MoonBox program in two years.
“We’re over the moon about the opportunity to represent Pittsburgh in outer space, and we thank the History Center and Astrobotic for making this happen,” Kennywood general manager Jerome Gibas says.“This Kennywood token doesn’t have an expiration date, so if it ever makes its way back to Earth, it can be used to buy some of our world-famous Potato Patch fries.”
Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander that will deliver the first commercial payload to the moon is on display in the history center’s current exhibit, which closes following Presidents Day (Feb. 18) weekend.
Coming in at second place, with 14 percent of the vote, is a micro SD card with the theme song to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” while 9 percent of the vote went to a tiny Smiley Cookie via Eat ‘n Park’s write-in campaign, history officials say.
Among the other choices that will stay grounded on earth, at least for now, are a Heinz pickle pin, soil from Moon Park in Moon Township, a piece of a Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel, a photo of Toni Haggerty of Primanti Bros. and a City of Pittsburgh flag pin.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .