Earth Operations Center

How do we become better stewards of “Spaceship Earth?”

Inspired by a traditional spacecraft operations center, such as NASA’s Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, we are collaborating with MIT and NASA to create an operations center for “Spaceship Earth” that integrates both earth systems and economic modeling. 

This earth science research center will track the health and status of the Earth’s ecological subsystems and enable collaborative decision-making using both virtual and physical spaces.

Key accomplishments

  • Developed a virtual reality prototype.  
  • Completed a first round of user testing of the prototype.
  • Winner of Social Impact Award for Southwest Maker Fest. Photos here

Project contact:

Jake Pinholster 

Funding years: 




Team members

Steven Hernandez


Alex MacDonald

NASA chief economist: economics, policy

Dava Newman

Director – MIT Media Lab: earth/space sciences, media technology

Kaycee Nienhuis

Student, ASU

Jake Pinholster

Founding Director – ASU Media and Immersive eXperience Center

Ankita Shukla


Matthew Soson

MFA Interdisciplinary Digital Media Performance