Growing Beyond Earth®

YOUR CHALLENGE: The search for the perfect food plants to feed astronauts is an ongoing effort. For the past seven years, students from across the country have been helping us provide NASA scientists with data on the best candidates and innovative ideas to improve growing conditions for long-distance space travel. This year we’re exploring radishes. This promising crop produces large amounts of edible biomass (you can eat both the roots and leaves), contains valuable nutrients, and certain varieties mature quickly. Your challenge is to test an assortment of radish cultivars in Trial 1 and apply what you learn to design a second trial that optimizes the radish growing conditions to maximize yield.


  • Teachers must register to attend a mandatory workshop by Friday, September 3, 2021.
  • Students must submit Trial 1 and Trial 2 data, Trial 2 research proposal and research presentation for complete entry submission.

Trial 1 DATA AND TRIAL 2 RESEARCH PROPOSAL DUE: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
by 5:00 pm (ET)

Electronically submit the following:

✓  Data Requirements:
 Trial 1 Google Form submitted December 8th
 Trial 1 data entries updated weekly on provided Google data sheets
 All appropriate Trial 1 data fields complete and valid. Any irregularities or empty fields accompanied by an explanation
 For Trial 1 and Trial 2, weekly student-centered, scientifically-relevant tweets including the school name, @GrowBeyondEarth, and descriptions of any photographs, illustrations or graphs
 Trial 2 data entries updated weekly on Google data sheets
 All appropriate Trial 2 data fields complete and valid. Any irregularities or empty fields accompanied by an explanation
 On-time data entry submission (late entries may not be accepted)
✓  Proposal Requirements:
 Based from Trial 1, students designed an original research project
 One-page proposal, double spaced, includes: testable hypothesis, identification of control and variable materials, and brief explanation of methods
 Bibliography citing 3 sources, MLA or APA format
 On-time entry submission by December 8th (late entries may not be accepted)

RESEARCH PRESENTATION SUBMISSION: Thursday, April 21, 2022 by 5:00 pm  

✓  Presentation Requirements:
 Opening slide includes descriptive title, student’s name and school name clearly
 Photographs/illustrations/graphs and tables must include captions
 Presentation is 5 slides maximum (excluding opening slide and references)
 Presentation must include the following: introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusion and at least 5 references)
 Bibliography must cite at least 5 sources, follows MLA or APA format
 On-time entry submission (late entries may not be accepted)

REQUIRED VIRTUAL TEACHER WORKSHOP DATE: Saturday, September 18, 2021 from 1:00 pm (ET) – 4:00 pm (ET) OR Wednesday, September 18, 2021 from 5:00 pm (ET) – 8:00 pm (ET) 
Scientists from NASA will conduct this workshop to introduce their research and the problems they try to solve for future space missions. During this time teachers will learn research protocols, and how to receive materials. Please contact any questions. 

CHAT WITH A SCIENTIST: We will be hosting an OPTIONAL online chat with NASA scientists about the Growing Beyond Earth project. Teachers participating in GBE will receive an invitation a week before each chat with instructions on how to participate. See below for a list of scheduled dates and recordings:



Welcome video from NASA
Research Protocols
What to Tweet
2019-2020 GBE results – NEW!

GBE Twitter Feed
Food Production for Space Exploration NASA presentation
Growing Beyond Earth TEDx (video) and Space Station Live: Veggie 01 (video)
Florikan Fertilizer: Collaboration with NASA (presentation)
2015-2020 GBE Seed List
How Plants Grow in Space

APA and MLA Citation Generator

This website is based upon the work supported by NASA under grant award No NNX16AM32G. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.