In 2016, the MIT Media Lab set its sights on space. Just over three years later, the Space Exploration Initiative has grown to 50+ students, staff, and faculty and recently launched six payloads into space and back! These payloads, shown below, crossed the 100km Karman line and tested research during three minutes of sustained microgravity inside Blue Origin's New Shepard experiment capsule. The payloads then returned to Earth for a soft landing, part of New Shepard’s reusable launch system, allowing the research team to reclaim their experiments and study the effects of microgravity. This mission marks MIT's first research launch with Blue Origin and the Media Lab's first ever rocket launch, and constitutes a core milestone in the schedule of iterative microgravity testing that the Space Exploration Initiative undertakes throughout the year.
The Initiative unites engineers, scientists, artists, and designers to prototype our space future. We hope you explore and enjoy the rich diversity of research perspectives in the six payloads (two copies of "Maiden Voyage" were flown) below.