The ExoLab-9 mission will build on the success of ExoLab-8 and continue to investigate how the stress of spaceflight affects the symbiotic relationship of red clover and nitrogen-fixing Rhizobia bacteria. Fifteen red clover seeds will fly to the ISS for this replication mission aiming to confirm root nodulation during spaceflight. As a mission participant, you will grow red clover plants in the 1G environment of Earth as part of the ground control experiment. Then, you will compare results to the flight experiment in the microgravity environment of the ISS.

Experience From a Kitchen or a Classroom

As a project-based, life sciences learning experience, the ExoLab-9 mission is open to all learners, no matter your age or location. Participate as a class, club, learning community, or individual citizen scientist. Each user will have access to age-appropriate science content, pre-made and live video sessions, and ExoLab plant growth data and images. Plus, during the mission, you will be able to view the experiment while it’s growing in space.

Ready-to-go NGSS-aligned lessons (K-12) on the Magnitude platform will drive scientific inquiry, boost engagement, and can be accomplished by students in any learning environment. You have the flexibility to assign and adjust lessons based on the individual needs of your students.

We will begin professional development in July and pre-mission videos and live sessions in early August. The experiment will run on the ISS for about a month and return to Earth in September for post-flight science analysis.

You have a rare opportunity to be part of this ground-breaking research mission as we explore growing legume plants in space and more sustainably on Earth.

Preparing for Launch on August 28

In cooperation with the US National Laboratory on the International Space Station, you are invited to join us for ExoLab-9 as we investigate astrobotany on a research lab larger than a football field, 250 miles above the planet, traveling at 17,500 miles per hour. With only one month left before we launch, you must act today! Place your order now to ensure that your supplies arrive before the mission starts. Visit the Magnitude shop to purchase your ExoLab and/or supply kit.

ExoLab-9 Curriculum

This novel event-based approach to learning will position your students at the forefront of scientific research, discovering insights in real-time alongside our team of Principal Investigators and scientists. After a year of pandemic learning, our extensive NGSS-aligned (K-12) curriculum library on the Magnitude Classroom uses a transdisciplinary approach that will build literacy, numeracy, scientific practice, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Core Lesson Sequence

Choose the lessons to match your curriculum needs. Topics connect biology, chemistry, and environmental science through the phenomena of a red clover plant. Lessons in the Magnitude Classroom are leveled for all grade levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12/adults.

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Conducting experiments on the ISS in microgravity
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Rocket Science
  • Plant Physiology
  • Legumes and the Nitrogen Cycle
  • Tropisms
  • Microscopy
  • Bonus lessons include art projects, nutrition, genetics, soils, food sustainability, and more.


On Orbit Experience

Fifteen seeds will be placed in three test tubes within the 4 cube unit ExoLab. The experiment will launch on the SpaceX-23 cargo resupply mission on August 28, and about two days later, it will be powered up by an astronaut on the ISS. Through the Magnitude Classroom, you will have near real-time imagery of the growing seedlings and can observe how microgravity impedes or improves plant growth, and if the nodulation that occurs on Earth through the symbiotic legume-rhizobium relationship can be replicated in space. Each week, you will have access to pre-recorded and/or live videos with mission updates.


Post-flight Analysis

At the end of the flight experiment, mission participants will receive a certificate of completion as recognition for their contribution to the groundbreaking legume research on the ISS.

With the experiment returning to Earth in September 2021, our post-flight science investigation will take place during the fall. Combining results from ExoLab-8 and ExoLab-9, our research focus will primarily involve microscopy to confirm nodulation and potentially DNA research depending sample conditions. We look forward to sharing our research and advancing the goal of food crop production for long duration missions.

ExoLab-9 takes project-based learning to a new level as a mission-based experience igniting students’ passion for space exploration as well as environmental stewardship on Earth. Join us for this memorable life experience that drives curiosity, inquiry, and ingenuity. Let students remember 2021 as the year that they went to space.


“Every student, teacher, club, and those working with students in any capacity, should participate in ExoLab with This program has become an integral part of my curriculum each year as it brings about an authentic learning experience unlike any other. Student engagement is high as they truly feel a part of something special. When else do they become part of a team that is collecting data on an experiment happening in real-time, and in space? I love the collaboration with the Magnitude team throughout the process and all of the learning opportunities that this project provides in reading, writing, science, math, and the arts.”

Nicole Dickenson
Vinewood Middle School
Lodi, California


“As part of ExoLab-8, my 7th and 8th-grade students were research scientists. They weren’t simply memorizing someone else’s science, they were doing their own science. Throughout our investigations, students asked new questions, designed new ways to test those questions, and shared their ideas. We are looking forward to the launch of ExoLab-9 to continue testing these questions and gathering more evidence to launch even more ideas and questions.”

Lauren Parker
Fort Worth Academy
Fort Worth, Texas.


“Over the years, the ExoLab program has been a valuable tool for providing my students access to the process of scientific inquiry and research design.  During distance learning, the students were provided take-home growth kits as an extension to the ExoLab program.   The students investigated plant growth with and without nitrogen-fixing bacteria from home,  and it was one of the few times during distance learning they were able to feel like they were doing an actual lab.  I am so grateful they were able to be a part of the ExoLab experience and I will continue to support the participation in the ExoLab program for my site and district.”

Jenn Buck
Tokey High School
Lodi, California

“As we prepared for an unconventional year in every sense of the word as a family and learning community, ExoLab-8 offered a solution which served to connect, unite, and lift us. Our school district scrambled to design and implement a system that ensured the continued delivery of educational content in an engaging way. Through collaborative partnership and dedication, we secured the opportunity for a full-distance cohort of local middle schoolers to participate in authentic learning that included unique experiences and access to scientists, ISS flight controllers, space historians, and astronauts. In the end, our youth emerged as winners and bearers of strong foundational scientific knowledge. Thank you for an unforgettable experience.”

Pedro A. Vazquez
Parent, STEM Educator
South Portland, Maine


“I love coming to this class because I learn things that are exciting to me that I didn’t even know existed.”

South Portland, Maine


“ExoLab 8 has been a high-energy, academically rewarding out-of-this-world science experiment for my students.  Literally out of this world… 250 miles above the Earth’s surface to be exact.  It has excited learners of all ages, from my Kindergarteners to the other adults in the building.  This is an experience all of us will never forget and I can’t wait to be a part of future missions with This fits into ANY science curriculum with sweet harmony.  It is the ultimate STEM project that incorporates project-based learning, the 5E model, hands-on authentic science all rolled into one. The pre-made lessons were easy to follow and made adding this into my classroom a breeze.
Thank you for having us along for the ride.”

Lisa Turney
Linwood Elementary
Linwood, Kansas


“Our bilingual kindergarten team had the opportunity to participate in the ExoLab-8 mission. Our project was sponsored by 3M through GoFundMe participating 70 face-to-face and remote students, 5 teachers, and 2 different schools. What our students learned was unique and literally out of this world with the K-4 bilingual curriculum. They saw for the first time in their lives how a plant grows and turns from seed to a full-grown plant using the camera while developing critical thinking and literacy skills by comparing and contrasting their experiment around the world and with the one onboard the International Space Station.”

Javier Montiel
Freeport Elementary
Bilingual Kindergarten

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From "K to Gray", can develop a bespoke interplanetary experience for your country, state, or district. Schedule time with us to discuss how we might help foster capabilities and skills for the next generation on Earth and Beyond for deployment in 2024/25. View some of our projects.