The Fairchild Challenge Partners with NASA for Growing Beyond Earth

We are partnering with NASA to provide South Florida middle and high school students an opportunity to conduct authentic botanical research in the classroom. Together, we are administering plant experiments with 131 classrooms participating in The Fairchild Challenge, Fairchild’s award-winning environmental science competition that reaches over 125,000 students annually, to determine which edible plants might be suitable for growth in microgravity aboard the International Space Station’s plant growth facility.The purpose of the experiments are to expand food options and increase plant diversity by testing multiple edible plants that meet NASA’s criteria for size and edibility. Using equipment that mimics the environmental conditions aboard the International Space Station, students are testing factors that may influence plant growth, flavor, and nutrition. NASA will use students’ data to determine which plants they should begin growing in space. For a recent update, read Growing Beyond Earth: Fairchild's Innovative Partnership with NASA article from The Tropical Garden (Winter 2016).


RESULTS FOR 2016 - 2017

RESULTS for high schools trial 1

RESULTS for middle schools trial 1

RESULTS for middle school trial 2

RESULTS FOR 2015 -2016

TRIAL 3 GBE 19 (Misome) yielded the most total edible fresh biomass




To learn more NASA's Veggie Research, please visit:     

Scientific Publications:        

Massa et al., July 2013

Massa et al., October 2013

Massa et al., July 2015     

Plants in Space Presentation and Videos



Video courtesy of NASA.

NASA ScienceCast: Historic Vegetable Moment on the Space Station




Based upon work supported by NASA under grant award No. NNX16AM32G. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

In the News: Click here for media highlights about The Fairchild Challenge