Hi Avery! Thanks for asking.

I grew up reading science fiction and was always captivated by the depictions of far-off worlds and life on other planets. I majored in physics in college, and had a chance to complete an experiment in microgravity with NASA (on a “parabolic flight”)–after that, I was hooked! I came to MIT for graduate school, and ultimately settled on aerospace engineering for space structures as my PhD thesis. This led me to find ways to support aerospace research at the Media Lab (my home department), and I discovered there was a thriving grass-roots interest in space exploration among many different students–biologists, artists, architects, data scientists and more. Over a few years, we grew from a passionate group of graduate students into what we have now as the Space Exploration Initiative!