Harvard & MIT Space Research Initiatives and Groups


Harvard CfA

Website: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/

Center for Astrophysics Headquarters
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
For public inquiries: 617-495-7463
For media inquiries: 617-721-7371

Founded in 1973, the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is an ongoing collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard College Observatory designed to foster innovation and propel discovery. The CfA today includes over 850 collaborators and support staff pursuing a staggering array of scientific inquiry and draws on over 300 combined years of tradition in institutional support for groundbreaking discoveries.

Black Hole Initiative

Website: https://bhi.fas.harvard.edu/

Black Hole Initiative
20 Garden Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-496-8956
To offer financial support, contact BHI Director Peter Galison at galison@fas.harvard.edu

The Black Hole Initiative (BHI) is an interdisciplinary center at Harvard University involving a collaboration between Principal Investigators (PIs) from the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Sheperd Doeleman, Avi Loeb and Ramesh Narayan, Priyamvada Natarajan), Physics (Andrew Strominger, Netta Engelhardt), Mathematics (Shing-Tung Yau) and Philosophy (Peter Galison).

Origins of Life Initiative

Website: https://origins.harvard.edu/

Origins of Life Initiative
60 Garden Street, MS-16
Cambridge, MA 02138
Director, Dimitar D. Sasselov, dsasselov@cfa.harvard.edu
Associate Director, Kelly Colbourn, kelly.colbourn@cfa.harvard.edu

The Origins of Life Initiative supports multi-disciplinary research aimed at revealing if life is abundant in the Universe. The Initiative seeks to understand how the initial conditions on planets, including our own Earth and planets around other stars, dictated the origins of life and its subsequent evolution. Using this knowledge, it will eventually be possible to study the atmospheres of far distant planets for signs of life, including planets that might be Earth twins.

Minor Planet Center

Website: https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/

Minor Planet Center
Mail Stop 18
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
For general inquiries: mpc@cfa.harvard.edu

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) is an international organization responsible for collecting observations of asteroids, comets, and other small bodies in the Solar System. Under the authority of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the MPC maintains and publishes information on the most up-to-date observations of these Solar System objects and their orbits. The MPC is hosted by the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

Chandra X-Ray Center

Website: https://chandra.harvard.edu/

Chandra X-ray Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
P: 617-496-7941
E: cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu

Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in the fleet of “Great Observatories.” The Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, hosts the Chandra X-ray Center which operates the satellite, processes the data, and distributes it to scientists around the world for analysis. The Center maintains an extensive public web site including an education program.

Harvard Medical School Consortium for Space Genetics

Website: https://spacegenetics.hms.harvard.edu/

Department of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115
E: Vonda_Shannon@hms.harvard.edu

Based in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, the Consortium for Space Genetics embodies three missions: to protect human health in Space as well as on Earth, sustain our planet and the many life forms that it supports, and promote exploration so that we may better understand the vastness and potential of our universe. Affiliated faculty includes Dr. George M. Church, Ph.D., Dr. Susan Dymecki, M.D.-Ph.D., and Dr. Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D.

Harvard Business School Economic of Space & HBS Space Research Network

Website: https://economicsofspace.hbs.harvard.edu/

Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
For inquiries, contact Matt Weinzierl
E: mweinzierl@hbs.edu

The Harvard Business School Space Research Network represents the virtual home of efforts at HBS to understand, contribute to, and shape the development of the commercial space economy. Therein, you can find links to the research being done at HBS, affiliated faculty and staff who are working on these topics, related events, and more. The mission is to spur scholarship on commercial space and provide a focal-point for research-driven discussions of it.

blue and white planet display

Group of Researchers for Interdisciplinary Politics of Space – Space Law, Policy, and Ethics (GRIPS-SLPE)


The Space Consortium at Harvard and MIT
For inquiries, contact Prof. Alissa J. Haddaji or Head TA London Vallery
E: alissa.haddaji@cfa.harvard.edu
E2: londonvallery@college.harvard.edu

Offered directly through The Space Consortium at Harvard and MIT, GRIPS-SLPE is a non-credit, free, graduate course dedicated to (1) teaching the basics of space law, policy, and ethics; (2) working on students’ space law and policy thesis-writing and articles for publication; and (3) developing students’ critical thinking and writing skills. The course is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the greater Boston-Cambridge area.


MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative

Website: https://www.media.mit.edu/groups/space-exploration/overview/

MIT Media Lab
77 Mass. Ave., E14/E15
Cambridge, MA 02139
For inquiries, contact Ariel Ekblaw

Grounded in the academic excellence of MIT while leveraging the provocative, creative, and futuristic technology expertise at the Media Lab, the Space Exploration Initiative supports 40+ research projects, and annual cadence of regular parabolic flights, suborbital and orbital launch research deployments, and a team of 50+ students, staff, and faculty. The philosophy of “democratizing access to space exploration” is at the core of the Initiative’s work.

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