A lavishly illustrated catalog of space technology of the future: lab-tested devices, experiments, and habitats for the age of participatory space exploration.
As Earthlings, we stand on the brink of a new age: the Anthropocosmos—an era of space exploration in which we can expand humanity’s horizons beyond our planet’s bounds. And in this new era, we have twin responsibilities, to Earth and to space; we should neither abandon our own planet to environmental degradation nor litter the galaxy with space junk. This fascinating and generously illustrated volume—designed by MIT Media Lab researcher Sands Fish—presents space technology for this new age: prototypes, artifacts, experiments, and habitats for an era of participatory space exploration.
These projects, developed as part of MIT’s Space Exploration Initiative, range from nanoscale imaging of microbes to responsive, sensor-mediated living environments. They show the usefulness of a seahorse tail for humans in microgravity, document the promise of shape-memory alloys for CubeSat in-orbit maneuvering, and introduce TESSERAE (Tessellated Electromagnetic Space Structures for the Exploration of Reconfigurable, Adaptive Environments), self-assembling space architecture. Some are ongoing, real-world systems: an art payload sent to the International Space Station via Space X CRS-20, for example, and a crowdsourced interplanetary cookbook. More than forty large-format, coffee table book–quality, full-color photographs make our future in space seem palpable. Short explanatory texts by Ariel Ekblaw, astronaut Cady Coleman, and others accompany the images.
About the Author
Ariel Ekblaw is Founder and Director of the MIT Space Exploration Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. Her work has been featured in WIRED, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, and IASS and AIAA proceedings, and on the BBC, CNN, and NPR.
"This lavishly illustrated book chronicles the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, founded by Ariel Ekblaw, which develops tools and projects “to truly make space for everyone” says astronaut Cady Coleman’s foreword. Ekblaw says the project is “grounded” in the Earthrise image taken by Apollo 8, reinforcing humanity’s responsibilities as citizens of the planet. The space experiments depicted range from biology and engineering to cookery and music, including social robots to relieve astronauts’ isolation."