Space Exploration Initiative

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


Logistics Innovation 

Video Conference with MIT and Fraunhofer-IML Researchers

Weightlessness opens up new possibilities for self-controlling systems and in-space structures.  Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Fraunhofer IML at TU Dortmund have collaborated on a technology platform that is opening up new potential - and has successfully completed initial tests on the ISS.

The Tech

What’s it like to design a meal that floats?

Taking a taste of the sensory research of Space Exploration Initiative’s Maggie Coblentz, who believes that by designing novel space food rituals, astronauts will not just be able to survive in space, but thrive there as well. 


The Wall Street Journal

How to Build a Home on the Moon

A small-scale replica of a lunar habitat is taking shape at Purdue University. The goal is to prepare for life in a hostile environment—including our own.

Ars Electronica 

Sojourner 2020 Artist Conversation 

Sojourner2020, the first international art open call that took a trip to International Space Station this March. 

WIRED (cover story)

Algae Caviar, Anyone? What We'll Eat on the Journey to Mars 
Humans are headed for the cosmos, and we’re taking our appetites with us. What will fill the void when we leave Earth behind? Featuring SEI's Maggie Coblentz on her work in space food and interplanetary gastronomy. 

BBC The Real Story

The Privatization of Space Travel
On the cusp of SpaceX's historic 2020 launch, bringing crewed launches back to the U.S., how is corporate capital changing our journey into the cosmos? SEI Director, Ariel Ekblaw, joins Charles Bolden, Dr. Jill Stuart, and John Logsdon to discuss the next decade of human spaceflight. 

WBUR On Point

How Private Companies Are Changing The Future Of Space Exploration 
SEI Director, Ariel Ekblaw, joins Charles Bolden, former NASA Administrator, to consider the future of human space exploration. 

Chemical Kitchen

GastroGeeks: Interplanetary gastronomy

GastroGeeks discusses questions about space food, gastronomy and science with SEI's researcher Maggie Coblentz. 



Space pianos and upside-down shoes: innovations for life in space

Hairstyles, musical instruments and gardening all change in zero gravity, Sands Fish says. 


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.

The Future's Coming: Why we need to prepare for Sci Fi Tomorrows Today

Coverage of Beyond the Cradle 2019.

National Geographic

Beyond the Cradle featured nationwide through National Geographic online feature.

MIT News

Designing humanity’s future in space
The Space Exploration Initiative’s latest parabolic research flight explores work and play in microgravity.

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.


PLACES Journal 

Surface to Unlimited

A visit to Spaceport America, where the coming of the Second Space Age is already history, and the announcement of the MIT Media Lab's Space Exploration Initiative. 

MIT News

Media Lab sets sights on space

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