Space Exploration Initiative

NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI)



Beyond Earth series
SEI Director, Ariel Ekblaw, discusses habitats for Earth, Moon, and Mars alongside Bjarke Ingels, Lucianne Walkowicz, and Lisa Messeri. 


Space Exploration and the Age of the Anthropocosmos
The new generation of space architects can learn from our successes and failures in protecting the internet commons and build a better paradigm for space, writes Media Lab Director, Joi Ito.


The design secrets Nasa's using to keep astronauts happy in space
Big windows, fresh fruit and regular phone calls home help manage the mental health of astronauts on the International Space Station. But missions to Mars on beyond will require a whole new approach to how spaceships are designed. The Space Exploration Initiative's Maggie Coblentz weighs in on the future of space food. 

The Wall Street Journal

Space Is Poised for Explosive Growth. Let’s Get It Right.

Before low-earth orbit is clogged with hotels, satellite traffic and debris, we should plan for the extra-planetary community we want, writes Ariel Ekblaw, founder of the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative.

How a Robotic Tail Could Help Future Space Travelers & The Zero-Gravity Orchestra

Researchers, Valentina Sumini and Manuel Muccillo, at the MIT Media Lab are developing technology for a day when amateur astronauts travel into orbit.

Nicole L’Huillier and Sands Fish are building a zero-gravity orchestra—a series of instruments that are designed to be performed exclusively in the absence of gravity.


The architect designing self-assembling habitats for space

Tomorrow’s space explorers won’t be able to pack traditional, heavy building materials for their missions. One young designer, Space Exploration Initiative Director Ariel Ekblaw,  is already working on habitats that will build themselves.

National Geographic

Beyond the Cradle featured nationwide through National Geographic online feature.

MIT News

Six suborbital research payloads from MIT fly to space and back

Space Exploration Initiative research aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard experiment capsule crossed the Karman line for three minutes of sustained microgravity.

MIT, Blue Origin to cooperate on sending research experiment to the moon

MIT community input [including Space Exploration Initiative payload designs] will help determine the focus of the study to be carried aboard Blue Moon lander.


Motherboard Vice

The ‘Telemetron’ Is a Post-Earth Musical Instrument Designed for Zero Gravity

The Telemetron generates musical compositions using gyroscopic “chimes.”

MIT’s ‘Orbit Weaver’ Turns Astronauts into Spiders

Moving around in microgravity is tough, but a new MIT Media Lab device takes a page from Spiderman to help astronauts navigate while weightless.

Discovery Channel Daily Planet

Spatial Flux: Body and architecture in space

This prototype explores surfaces utilizing materials that would normally fail on Earth, yet flourish in zero gravity.

Ars Technica

“Life, uh, finds a way”—Applying lessons from evolution to go to Mars

Biomimicry looks to living organisms to create the future of sustainable engineering, as Ariel Ekblaw discusses her bio-inspired TESSERAE space habitat.

MIT News

Prototypes for the new space age

The Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative shares results and next steps from its first zero gravity research mission.


MIT News

Media Lab sets sights on space

MIT Media Lab event, Beyond the Cradle, launches a new initiative to explore the final frontier.