Ariel Ekblaw is the founder and lead of the MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative, a team of over 50 researchers actively prototyping of our Sci-Fi space future. Ariel is simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Aerospace Structures in Dr. Joseph Paradiso's Responsive Environments group. Her current research explores self-assembling space architecture for future space tourist habitats and space stations in orbit around the Earth and Mars. 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 graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy, and completed a master’s at MIT Media Lab. Ariel’s work has been featured in AIAA, IEEE, Wired, Ars Technica, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, PRI’s ScienceFriday, and more.