Gioia Massa and Trent Smith
NASA STEM Stars: Veggies in Space


Gioia Massa is a NASA scientist at Kennedy Space Center working on space crop production for the International Space Station and future exploration endeavors.  She led the science team for the Veggie validation and she heads an interdisciplinary team to study nutrition and flavor of space-grown crops.  She has a BS in Plant Science from Cornell, a PhD in Plant Biology from Penn State, and postdoctoral research from Purdue and Kennedy Space Center.  She has more than 21 peer-reviewed scientific publications about plants in space.

Trent Smith serves as manager of Technology Transfer Office at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and leads a team that has extensive experience in intellectual property management, technology licensing, and establishment of public-private partnerships.  Prior to that he served as the Veggie Project Manager enabling Space Plant Biology experiments and space crop production on-board the International Space Station.  Smith is a graduate of Florida Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s and master’s in chemistry.