Beyond the Cradle: Envisioning a New Space Age

Various Speakers
Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 8:00am to 7:00pm

In-person attendance at this event is by invitation only, but this event will be livestreamed

Space will be hackable. Space will be playful. Space grows ever more accessible to the space enthusiast—through the reach of their DIY instruments, experiments, sensors and satellites, and soon through space tourism. This opportunity to design our interplanetary lives beckons to us. Join us on Sunday, March 12 as we envision, design, hack, and fabricate our space future. We'll hear from innovation engineers at NASA, sci-fi's most creative minds, Hollywood imagineers, astronauts, and industry leaders in "New Space."

Agenda (EAPS affiliated talks are highlighted)

8:00am | Breakfast and registration

9:00am | Welcome and kickoff—“Houston, we are GO for launch”
Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab
Dr. Maria T. Zuber, VP for Research, MIT EAPS

9:15am | Keynote
Julien de Wit, Postdoctoral Associate on TRAPPIST-1 team, MIT EAPS

9:45am | Plenary Address: Living a sci-fi space future
Doug Trumbull, director and visual effects supervisor, Trumbull Studios
Ben Grossmann, visual effects supervisor, Magnopus
Warren Ellis, author

10:30am | Break

10:45am | Session 1 | Please choose one track.
(A) Avi Loeb, Chair, Harvard University Department of Astronomy; Advisory Committee Chair, Breakthrough Starshot Initiative

(B) Democratizing "Open Space" panel: Defining new modes of engagement from Earth to LEO
Moderator: Ariel Waldman, founder,
Kerri Cahoy, MIT AeroAstro STAR Lab Principal Investigator, MIT EAPS
Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, artist and designer
Rie Yamamoto, Global Strategy for ALE
Andy Sellars, Director, BU/MIT Technology and Cyberlaw Clinic

11:30am | Session 2 | Please choose one track.
(A) Erika Wagner, Business Development Manager, Blue Origin

(B) Doug Trumbull, visual effects designer and Ron Dantowitz, President, MARS Scientific [joint demo]

12:30pm | Lunch

1:30pm | Session 3 | Please choose one track.
(A) Andrew Rush, CEO, Made in Space

(B) Frontiers for Life in Space panel: From tardigrades to astronaut wellbeing
Sheyna Gifford, MD, HI-SEAS IV Crew
Elizabeth B. Klerman, MD PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
John Min, MIT Media Lab, Sculpting Evolution research group

2:15pm | Session 4 | Please choose one track.
(A) Paul Wooster, Spacecraft GNC Manager, SpaceX

(B) Media Lab & Center for Bits and Atoms space research panel

3:00pm | Workshops

Workshop 1—Design your space future
Warren Ellis, author
Salome Asega, artist
Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, artist and designer
Ariel Waldman, founder of

Join a panel of sci-fi, open-space, and Afrofuturist artists, designers, and hackers for a speculative brainstorming session on the ideologies of our space future. If Outer Space is a canvas for new norms and narratives, what would you nurture or curtail? What are the laws and cultural expectations that might evolve over long-duration space missions, or at the asteroid mining frontier? How will we preserve, adapt, and/or update our Earth-based cultures for populations that may never call Earth home? If we were to write a “Declaration of the Independence of Outer Space” (a la John Perry Barlow), what might it say?

Workshop 2—Space simulation sandbox
Sheyna Gifford, MD, HI-SEAS IV Crew
Katy Croff Bell, PhD, Nautilus Exploration Program

Think you have what it takes to make it in space? Bring your friends and form a Spaceteam! Join space simulation veterans Katy Croff Bell (oceanographer) and Dr. Sheyna Gifford (HERA VI asteroid simulation and HI-SEAS VI Mars simulation) for an exercise in simulated space travel that will leave you with a fresh perspective on one of mankind's favorite pastimes: exploration. This workshop will feature mission planning, group games, role playing, and a variety of exciting potential destinations from the Moon and Mars to Europa, Enceladus, and TRAPPIST-1. A simulated space suit will be on hand. Mobile devices and an active imagination are encouraged. 

Workshop 3—Space structures
Chuck Hoberman, Wyss Institute associate faculty; founder, Hoberman Associates
Keegan Kirkpatrick, founder and team lead, Redworks
Andrew Rush, CEO, Made in Space
Philip Metzger, Planetary Scientist, UCF; Co-Founder, NASA Kennedy Space Center Swamp Works

Engage with the designers, engineers, hackers, and makers of your future space habitat! From 3D printing space fiber in microgravity to houses built from accreted Martian regolith, this design workshop will take you through the latest in space construction. You’ll hear from Chuck Hoberman (creator of the isokinetic Hoberman Sphere) on the power of creative geometries and new structural forms, with a chance to then run your best design ideas by the pioneers of space architecture!

4:00pm | Break

4:15pm | Plenary panel: astronaut augury
Cady Coleman, Astronaut
Jeff Hoffman, Astronaut
Leland Melvin, Astronaut
Sheyna Gifford, Simulation Astronaut

4:45pm | Closing keynote
Dan Goods, visual strategist, NASA JPL

5:30pm | Cocktail reception 

If you have general questions about this event, please email  If you have any questions about accessibility or need to request accommodations, please email