As NASA looks toward a long-term human presence beyond Earth’s orbit, there are specific science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) challenges related to food production in space. Established in 2015 as a partnership between Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and NASA’s Exploration Research and Technology Programs, Growing Beyond Earth (GBE) enables student community scientists to actively contribute data toward NASA mission planning.
This year, schools participating in GBE for the first time will be testing varieties of herbs for growth in the “Veggie” plant growth system on the International Space Station. For astronauts, herbs will provide flavor and nutrition to the prepackaged meals and offer a pleasant fragrance to the ISS.
Your challenge is to follow the protocols to grow an assortment of herbs, evaluate your results, and share your conclusions on the most robust cultivar.
49 Day Research Protocols UPDATED September 23, 2022.
Student training session:
Chat with the Scientist:
Complete seed list 2015 -2022
What to tweet
GBE twitter feed
How plants grow in Space
Advanced Plant Habitat Fact Sheet
Veggie Fact Sheet
Astro Science Journal for Teens: Can we grow safe and nutritious food in space? – UPDATED January 19, 2023
Astro Science Journal for Teens: Can we grow safe and nutritious food in space? TEACHER’S KEY– UPDATED January 19, 2023
Growing Plants in Space – UPDATED January 19, 2023
Active Research site Poster
NGSS middle school
NGSS high school