BioTECH Student Research

Growing Beyond Earth helps provide a stream of data to NASA scientists who are developing technologies for growing food crops for long-duration missions into deep space. 

GBE header

Cultivar Testing

Students conduct growth trials based on criteria set by scientists at NASA Kennedy Space Center to select plants that produce large amounts of edible biomass, require low amount resources (water, fertilizer, growth medium, etc.), and contain high levels of vitamins not found in the processed astronaut diet.

Fairchild Researcher: Marion Litzinger, M.S.
Community Collaborators: Gioia Massa, Ph.D.,(NASA,KSC)
Project Resources: 21-22 Protocols, Data Sheet 
Additional References: GBE: a citizen science project, Welcome from NASA, TEDxCoconutGrove, VEGGIE fact sheet, VEGGIE
Location: Innovation Studio
Grade Level:
Sophomores and Juniors


Students are experimenting with varieties of microgreens that germinate easily and grow quickly. These immature greens, as opposed to their mature-leaf counterparts, can contain higher amounts of important phytonutrients. 

Fairchild Researcher: Marion Litzinger, M.S.
Community collaborators:
Christina Johnson Ph.D., (NASA Postdoctoral Program)
Project Resources: Data Sheet, Plant Chamber, and well design 
Additional References: Microgreens as a Component of Space Life Support Systems: A Cornucopia of Functional Food, Micro-scale vegetable production and the rise of microgreens
Location: Innovation Studio
Grade Level:

Innovative Growth Designs

Fairchild is working with NASA Kennedy Space Center and soliciting ideas from makers nationwide for new food production technology. The Innovation Studio projects support the development of new hardware and designs for growing plants in space.

Community Collaborators: Moonlighter Miami
Project Resources: Overview, Growing Beyond Earth Design 
Additional References: Project Award Summary
Location: Innovation Studio
Grade Level:

Mentor Resources
Senior Intern Evaluation
Senior Intern Assignments
Adult Media Release