Photo of Ariel Ekblaw

Ariel Ekblaw

Visiting Researcher

Ariel Ekblaw is the founder and Director of the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, a team of over 50 graduate students, staff, and faculty actively prototyping the artifacts of our sci-fi space future. Founded in 2016, the Initiative now includes a portfolio of 40+ research projects focused on life in space (from astrobiology to space habitats), and supports an accelerator-like R&D program that enables a broad range of payload development.

For the Initiative, Ariel drives space-related research across science, engineering, art, and design, and charters an annually recurring cadence of parabolic flights, sub-orbital, and orbital launch opportunities. Ariel forges collaborations on this work with MIT departments and space industry partners, while mentoring Initiative research projects and providing technical advice for all mission deployments.