Beyond the Cradle 2018: Envisioning a New Space Age

Jon Tadiello

This event took place at the MIT Media Lab on Saturday March 10, 2018.

Looking for the 2019 event? HERE

Space will be hackable. Space will be playful. Space grows ever more accessible to the space enthusiast—through the reach of DIY instruments, experiments, sensors and satellites, and soon through a new age of space tourism and exploration. This opportunity to design our interplanetary lives beckons to us.

Join us at the MIT Media Lab on March 10, 2018 as we envision, design, hack, and build our space future! We'll hear from industry leaders in "New Space"; titans of the great satellite and probe missions; innovation engineers from NASA, ESA, JAXA, and India's SRO; sci-fi's greatest minds; Hollywood storytellers; and of course—astronauts!

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.

Speaker bios 


8:00am | Breakfast and registration

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

9:15am | Morning Keynote
Rai Weiss, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, MIT; 2017 Nobel Laureate

9:45am | Plenary Address and Panel: Our Sci-Fi Space Future

  • Moderator: Joseph Paradiso, Professor, MIT Media Lab; PI, Responsive Environments Group
  • Neal Stephenson, Author; Chief Futurist, Magic Leap
  • Eliza McNitt, Writer and Director; creator of SPHERES and FISTFUL OF STARS
  • Nnedi Okorafor, Author; Professor, University of Buffalo, New York (SUNY)

10:30am | Break

10:45am | Session 1 | Please choose one track.

Speaker bios are available

(A) Space Industry Talk: Blue Origin

  • Rob Meyerson, Senior VP, Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin

(B) Democratizing "Open Space" Panel: defining new modes of engagement in LEO and beyond

  • Moderator: Jim Bell, Planetary Scientist, ASU and Cornell University; President, The Planetary Society
  • Danielle Wood, Assistant Professor and Director, Space Enabled research group, MIT Media Lab
  • Hajime Yano, Assistant Professor, Laboratory for Astrobiology and Astromaterial (LABAM),  ISAS/JAXA
  • Jordi Puig-Suari, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Julien Cantegreil, Chairman of the Board, AsterIdea

11:15am | Session 2 | Please choose one track.

Speaker bios are available

(A) Space Industry Talk: Planetary Resources

  • Chris Lewicki, President and CEO, Planetary Resources

(B) Space and the Arts Panel: new visions for humanity’s interplanetary future

  • Moderator: Honor Harger, Executive Director, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
  • Nicholas de Monchaux, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley; Director, Center for New Media
  • Nicole Stott, ret. NASA astronaut; Artist
  • Tom Sachs, Artist
  • Sarah Jane Pell, Artist and Simulation Astronaut (AU)

11:45am | Session 3 | Please choose one track.

Speaker bios are available

(A) Space Industry & Research Talk: MIT STAR Lab

  • Kerri Cahoy, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; PI, MIT STAR Lab

(B) Frontiers for Life in Space Panel: from human physiology to astrobiology and exoplanets

  • Moderator: Alexandra Pontefract, Postdoctoral Associate, Earth and Planetary Science, MIT
  • Christopher Mason, Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine; WorldQuant (WQ) Scholar and Director
  • Darlene Lim, PI for NASA BASALT mission; Geobiologist, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Franck Marchis, Senior Planetary Astronomer, SETI Institute;  Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar
  • Sara Seager, Professor of Planetary Science and Physics, MIT

12:30pm | Lunch

1:30pm | Session 4 | Please choose one track.

Speaker bios are available

(A) Space Industry Talk

  • Paul Wooster, Principal Mars Development Engineer, SpaceX

(B) The Future of Space Research Panel: where we’ll be in 10, 50, and 100 years

  • Moderator: Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT
  • Blakesley Burkhart, Postdoctoral Associate, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Jennifer Rocca, Project Systems Engineer for Planetary & Astrophysics Missions, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tim Shank, PI for Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Ariel Waldman, founder, Spacehack.org and Science Hack Day; NASA NIAC external council

2:00pm | Afternoon Keynote

Nahum, Artist and Musician

2:45pm | Workshops

Explore full workshop descriptions here!

  1. Design Your Space Future
  2. Exploration, Simulation and Analogs: From Oceans to Space
  3. Future of Space Architecture
  4. Local Space Innovation
  5. Native Space-Farer: From Pregnancy to Early Childhood Development in Space
  6. Space and the Body: From Augmentation to Fashion
  7. Zero G-ames

4:00pm | Break

4:15pm | Event Finale

4:15 - Plenary Panel: Astronaut Augury
Featuring astronauts and spaceflight explorers from around the planet.
Speaker bios are available

  • Moderator: Ariel Ekblaw, Founder and Lead, MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative
  • Cady Coleman, ret. NASA Astronaut
  • Denis Matveev, Cosmonaut
  • Paolo Nespoli, ESA Astronaut and Engineer

5:00 - Plenary Panel: The New Space Age
Hear from leaders at the vanguard of the private space industry on their vision for the future of space exploration.
Speaker bios are available

  • Moderator: Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab
  • Carissa Bryce Christensen, Founder and CEO, Bryce Space Technology
  • Debra D. Facktor, Vice President and General Manager, Strategic Operations, Ball Aerospace 
  • Chris Lewicki, President and CEO, Planetary Resources
  • Rob Meyerson, Senior VP, Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin

5:45pm | Closing Remarks

Ariel Ekblaw, Founder and Lead, MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative

6:00pm | Cocktail Reception

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

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