Ariel Ekblaw, Space Exploration Initiative of the MIT Media Lab

Founder and director of the Space Exploration Initiative of the MIT Media Lab

Ariel Ekblaw is the founder and lead of the MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative, a team of over 50 students, faculty and staff actively prototyping of our Sci-Fi space future. For the Initiative, Ariel coordinates space research and launch opportunities across the spectrum of science, engineering, art and design, and builds collaborations on this work with MIT and Space Industry partners.


Ariel is simultaneously a graduate research assistant at the MIT Media Lab, where she is completing a PhD in Aerospace Structures in Dr. Joseph Paradiso's Responsive Environments group. Her current research includes designing, testing, and deploying self-assembling space architecture, as future habitats for space tourists and science missions in orbit around the Earth and Mars.

Ariel brings an interdisciplinary approach to her research at the Media Lab, with undergraduate degrees in Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University and a master’s in blockchain research from MIT. Her past work experience includes blockchain product development, cloud computing analytics at Microsoft Azure, big data programming at the CERN Particle Physics Laboratory, microgravity research with NASA, and Mars2020 rover hardware systems engineering at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ariel’s work has been featured in AIAA, IEEE, Wired, Ars Technica, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review, PRI's ScienceFriday, and more.


Stage+D (P4 Level 1)