Beyond the Cradle 2019: Envisioning a New Space Age


Dave Silverman

Dave Silverman for Space Exploration Initiative

March 14, 2019

Join us on Thursday, March 14 for the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative's third annual event, Beyond the Cradle: Envisioning a New Space Age.

With humanity at the cusp of interplanetary civilization, we are actively building the technologies, tools, and human experiences of our sci-fi space future. Join us, in the 50th anniversary year of the Apollo Moon landing, for an exciting day with the scientists, engineers, artists, and designers revolutionizing our next half-century of moonshots and starshots.

On March 14 we'll hear from NASA scientists and Hollywood storytellers, from “New Space” industry vanguards leading space tourism and lunar settlement, and from engineers of the intrepid probe missions now far beyond our planetary neighborhood. Come to meet the astronauts and innovation engineers from space agencies around our home world, and the authors and artists seeding our imagination of other worlds!

This year’s event will be part of MIT Space Week (March 13-15), including a celebration of the Apollo Moon landing 50th anniversary and the New Space Age conference. Stay tuned for more details on how to register for all three.

*Note: Attendance at this private event is by invitation only, but the full program will be publicly livestreamed.

 View the archive of the 2018 event. Learn more about the Space Exploration Initiative.  

Check back regularly for agenda updates!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

8:00am | Breakfast and registration

8:45am | Welcome and kickoff: Houston we are GO for launch

  • Ariel Ekblaw, founder and lead, Space Exploration Initiative
  • Joi Ito, director, MIT Media Lab and Dr. Maria T. Zuber, VP for Research, MIT

9:00am | Plenary keynote

  • Samuel C. C. Ting, Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics, Nobel Laureate

9:30am | Plenary panel: Our sci-fi space future

Authors and artists to be revealed as the event nears!

10:15am | Plenary address and conversation with:

  • Larry James, deputy director, JPL
  • Loretta Whitesides, Yuri’s Night co-creator and founder astronaut, Virgin Galactic

10:50am | Break

11:00am | Session 1 | Please choose one track

(A) Space Industry Talk

  • Robbie Schingler, co-founder and CSO, Planet

(B) Democratizing "Open Space" Panel

  • Alex MacDonald, Emerging Space Program Executive, NASA
  • Leland Melvin, ret. NASA astronaut
  • Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Frank White, author and space philosopher

11:45am | Session 2 | Please choose one track

(A) Space Industry and Research Talk

  • Natalya Bailey, co-founder and CEO, Accion Systems

(B) Frontiers for Space Exploration

  • Moderator: Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT
  • Leon Alkalai, Assistant Division Manager for Formulation and the Lead for Formulation, JPL
  • Sara Seager, professor of Physics and Planetary Science, MIT

12:30pm Lunch

1:30pm | Session 3 | Please choose one track

(A) Space Industry Talk

  • Mandy Vaughn, president, VOX

(B) Space and the Arts Panel

  • Laurie Anderson, artist
  • Eva Diaz, author; associate professor of History of Art and Design, Pratt
  • Agnes Meyer-Brandis, artist

2:15pm | Session 4 | Please choose one track

(A) Space Industry Talk

  • Jeff Manber, CEO, NanoRacks

(B) Life in Space Panel

  • Moderator: Lynn Rothschild, senior research scientist, NASA Ames
  • Paul Horowitz, professor of Physics and of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus, Harvard
  • Julie Huber, associate scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Max Tegmark, professor of Physics, MIT

3:00pm | Workshops

Explore full workshop descriptions here!

  1. Design Your Space Future
  2. Democratizing Space
  3. The Evolution of Hollywood's Spaceships
  4. Native Space Farer
  5. Space Architecture
  6. Becoming Interplanetary
  7. Space Fashion
  8. Space Food
  9. Zero-G-ames
  10. Zero-G Gymnastics

4:15pm | Break

4:30pm | Plenary keynote

  • Janna Levin, associate professor of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College

5:00pm | Event finale: Astronaut augury

Featuring astronauts and spaceflight explorers from around the planet

5:45pm | Closing remarks

  • Ariel Ekblaw, founder and lead, Space Exploration Initiative

6:00pm | Cocktail reception

Accessibility Note: This event will have open captioning (English) at the event and on the webcast. Archival video will also include English-language closed captions.

Contact beyondthecradle@media.mit.edu with general questions.  
Contact events@media.mit.edu with accessibility questions.

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