Cody Paige Keynote Speaker

  • Director of the Space Exploration Initiative, MIT Media Lab
  • Started the MIT Zero-G Outreach Initiative
  • Advocate for Women & Girls in STEAMD (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Design)

Cody Paige's Biography

Dr. Cody Paige is the Director of the Space Exploration Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, a team of 50+ students, faculty, and staff building and flying advanced technology for space exploration. The Initiative focuses on helping students take their research into space. The pipeline developed to achieve this works with students from across the Media Lab and the MIT community to prototype space-related research in the lab, fly and test them in microgravity on parabolic and suborbital flights, and finally to take them to the International Space Station or on to the Moon. Cody fosters relationships between the Initiative, MIT, and space industry partners to forge a path for students to achieve spaceflight for their research. The interdisciplinary projects combine science, engineering, art, and design, all focusing on developing the artifacts for life in space.

Cody came to MIT as a Fulbright Scholar and completed her Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. Her research focused on enabling a permanent human presence on the Moon through the development of wearable radiation shielding material and a virtual reality platform for geological surface exploration of the Moon and Mars. During her Ph.D., she prepared a commercial off the shelf RGB and depth camera as a Lunar payload for the SEI To the Moon to Stay Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission in collaboration with NASA Ames and Lunar Outpost, slated to launch in 2024.  She tested the camera in Lunar gravity on the SEI 2022 Parabolic Flight as well as doing field work on the SEI Svalbard Field Expedition to assess the Lunar mission concept of operations. Cody also has a background in geology, specifically quaternary geochronology, and completed her Master of Applied Science at the University of Toronto in Aerospace Engineering and her Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University in Engineering Physics. She is passionate about student outreach, in particular encouraging girls, and young women in STEAMD (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Design).  She started the MIT Zero-G Outreach Initiative, a program mentoring middle school students in the Cambridge area to develop experiments for microgravity. Cody is also a pilot, a scuba diver, an avid hiker, and rock climber.

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Cody Paige's Speaking Topics

  • Sustainability: Immersing Ourselves in Climate Action Through Virtual Reality

With thousands of Earth Observation satellites producing hundreds of terabytes of data, it is critical that communication and visualization of that data be made local, actionable and interactive. At the MIT Media Lab, we are using Earth Mission Control, a virtual reality platform, not only to show people the immediate effects of climate change on their local environment, but to put the tools to take action into their hands. Earth Mission Control is only one of the ways we are using virtual reality for a sustainable future. We are exploring technologies for extreme environments to minimize impacts for both scientific and industrial exploration, finding innovative solutions for both Earth and space exploration.

  • Technology and Industry: Capturing the Moon: Building for Life in Space

The future of space exploration is undergoing a paradigm shift. Because of the push from the space industry, Lunar missions are now a viable option for the private sector and academia. At the MIT Media Lab, we are making use of cutting-edge Earth-based technology to gain better access to the Lunar surface. Our Lunar south pole mission in 2024 will provide us with high-resolution 3D images of the Moon for virtual reality exploration. Partnering with companies, we can create tools that will be the future of construction on the Lunar surface, create training platforms for the Artemis missions, and allow the world to come with us as we go back to the Moon. While the Moon set the goal, these tools create a world of opportunity on Earth; from remote mining, to construction site development, to scientific exploration of fragile environments.

  • Leadership: Pushing for failure to get to the Moon

The Moon presents us with the most difficult environment in which to survive. The conditions are so challenging, that the only way to get there is to fail first. Preparing for a Lunar mission means we need to push the technology, the operations, and the concepts until they break, then redesign, rebuild and do it again. This requires multi-disciplinary teams that can see problems from every angle, testing environments that force us to stay on our toes, and a willingness to see failure as success. At the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, we work with engineers, artists, scientists and designers to develop cutting edge solutions to bring to life our sci-fi space future.

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