The New Possible Podcast: MIT Space Exploration Initiative Designs Everyday Life in Space

Emily Suzuki Emily Suzuki May 19, 2021

2 min read


The New Possible podcast is a monthly podcast that sheds light on the future of making things – from COVID-19 ventilators to sustainable motorcycles. Each episode tells the story of how a company unlocked their new possible using Autodesk Fusion 360. Follow along as we dive into the who’s, what’s, and how’s behind some of the most exciting innovations. This episode, we chat with the MIT Space Exploration Initiative about designing everyday life in space. Listen to the New Possible podcast on all major hosting platforms, including AppleAmazonSpotify, and Google.

When you hear the phrase “life on Mars,” what do you picture? I, for one, can’t get the image of aliens, cumbersome space helmets, and clouds of red dust out of my head. When you think about it, though, we really haven’t been given much to work with. We have complicated scientific discoveries, and we have Sci-fi movies loosely based on science, but we don’t really have anything in between. We lack a regular human perspective on how we might be able to live in (not just visit) space.

Though many advancements have been made in aerospace over the last century, it’s still difficult to imagine what it would actually be like to live up there. Today’s guests are doing space research beyond sleek rockets and crunchy freeze-dried food to contemplate how to make living in space more, well, human.

A compass-like device that points to places on Earth and in our solar system. The MIT Space Exploration Initiative designed this device so that astronauts and future space travelers can maintain an emotional connection with their favorite places on Earth.

What will our homes look like? What types of instruments can we play? How will we maintain an emotional connection to Earth? These are just a few of the questions the MIT Space Exploration Initiative asks during their design process. 

But this group of 50-plus MIT student and faculty scientists, engineers and designers doesn’t just imagine. They don’t even just prototype. They actually build their ideas and even launch them into space—a real-life Starfleet Academy, if you will. 

In this episode, we chat with Ariel Ekblaw, founder and Director of the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, and Che-Wei Wang, an industrial designer who uses Fusion 360 to bring the team’s visions to life. We learn more about the program and how it differs from other space research organizations.

Listen to the full conversation above via AppleAmazonSpotify, and Google. Stay tuned for the next episode of The New Possible podcast, which will drop next month. In the meantime, check out our other episodes:

Episode 1: fuseproject Goes Medical to Combat COVID-19
Episode 2: Vortic Watch Co: Not Your Grandpa’s Pocket Watch
Episode 3: CAMplete Brought 5-Axis Machining Into the 21st Century

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