• Thought leaders for the future of humans in space

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The mission of the Interplanetary Initiative is to build the future of humans in space and thus, to create a bolder and better society. To make this future real, we need to pursue the questions of our space future across the whole landscape of human inquiry, and we need to create teams that integrate across the public-private-university sectors.


Articulate the question we need to answer - make it a big question, a critical question worthy of our time and effort.


Define the goals for the project: Outcomes, products, events, new technology, papers, articles, social media.


Put together a team of partners, faculty, and students who possess the key expertise needed to answer the question and reach the goals.


Every instructor associated with the project will find ways to have their classes work on the project.


Use project management techniques to keep the team together and meet milestones.


Regularly communicate to academia, policy, private sector, and the public with research products.


Continually question and improve on the process.

Integrating Research and Learning

Research has demonstrated that students who learn through exploration not only retain more information, but also are better innovators. Traditional methods of instruction focus on content delivery to the exclusion of real world experience. We must equip students with the ability to approach and make progress on solutions to important questions on their own. Rather than rediscovering the already known, students need to learn to ask good questions whose answers cannot be found in the back of a textbook.

The Interplanetary Lab (“the Lab”)

The Lab will include both a hardware factory for students and faculty to create space hardware and software, and an ideation studio, to research and promote “exploration learning”, and for workshops and prototyping/testing. By putting the factory and studio together, we are creating a prototype for the future of learning.

Exploration Learning in the Classroom

Exploration learning skills are critical to the concept of “master learners” – students must learn the skills and processes needed for answering tomorrow’s questions, not just absorb the content discovered to date. We bring together interdisciplinary teams to solve the big problems of our space future, and we integrate the research into the classroom so that everyone learns how to create new knowledge.

“The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero
Roman politician and lawyer, c. 30 BCE