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Undergraduate Research Showcase

Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.

Growing Plants in Space


Josiah Henry is a first-year undergraduate within the Vector program at Valencia College where he pursues research as well as engages in a rigorous curriculum. With the pursuit of a bachelor’s in biology, Josiah plans to create impactful change and solve scientific mysteries.

Kaiah LespinadesI'm Kaiah Lespinandes. I am an undergraduate at Valencia College and I'm also with the Vector program. I'm majoring in Architecture. I'm interest in research because I'll be able to learn new things. 


ABSTRACT:  As astronauts venture out into deep space, their bodies require an energy source in order to input nutrients into their bodies.  For example, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), regularly receive shipments of food to ensure their bodies are getting the vitamins and minerals it needs. However, for longer space explorations, food will break down over time making this option no longer viable. This is an urgent matter that has engaged NASA and its partners. Together, they have developed an array of methods to combat the breakdown of food by experimenting with plant growth under the high stress that space enacts on living organisms.  In this presentation, we would present some of the research, such as the use of biologically cycled systems and LED lights, NASA and its partners are conducting to grow plants in microgravity environments encountered in space.


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Faculty Mentor

Rita Luther

Professor of Biology

East Campus

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