Ralph Fritsche, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Food Production Project Manager, is leading the effort to develop sustainable and reliable fresh food systems in support of long duration spaceflights. While current research is conducted using NASA’s Veggie and Advanced Plant Habitat facilities on the International Space Station (ISS), new facilities will be required to grow pick and eat crops to supplement crew nutrition.

Prior to focusing on Food Production, Fritsche began his career with NASA in 1989 supporting the US Manned Space Program in various engineering and operational roles. Fritsche was a NASA Payload Test Director for a number of key projects including the Mir docking module, MEIT (Multi-Element Integration Testing) the largest test of space flight hardware in the history of the US space program, ISS assembly flights, and AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer). In recent years he served as the NASA Project Manager for the biological research payloads BRIC Synergy and Biotube-MICRo.

Ralph Fritsche is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and earned a dual BS degree in Physics and Space Science from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1979.