GIOIA MASSA, Plant Scientist, NASA KSC
Gioia Massa is a NASA scientist at Kennedy Space Center in Florida working on food production for the International Space Station (ISS) and future exploration endeavors.
She led the science team for the Veggie hardware validation on ISS and she heads an nterdisciplinary group to study fertilizer and light impacts on nutrition and flavor of Veggie-grown crops.
In addition to Veggie she helps with science needs for other space station hardware and works with external investigators to get their science to function on the station. She also is involved with education and outreach programs related to plants in space. Gioia became interested in growing plants in space in an agriculture class when she was 12 years old.
She has a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University (with a wonderful semester at University of Tasmania in 1994), a PhD in Plant Biology from Penn State, and postdoctoral research from Purdue University. Her work has spanned the spectrum of plant space biology and bioregenerative life support. Her goal is to give the future residents of the habitat of Mars a better quality of life, where they will be able to enjoy the sight, smell, taste, and nutrition of green growing plants. Her passion is to enable NASA’s grand challenge of space colonization as humanity transitions from a planet-bound to a spacefaring civilization.