Maria Koch, V3PO young scientist

Maria is an enthusiastic horse rider with a passion for agriculture. But the 19-year-old student is also an aspiring young researcher who is taking a closer look at crop production through the V3PO project. This is not new territory for her because she grew up on a farm and agricultural biology is one of her favorite subjects. But like Maria, anyone conducting research must be prepared to break new ground – and this project does just that by transporting agriculture into space. "Researchers need to be interested not only in expanding their knowledge; they must also possess curiosity, perseverance and team spirit in order to succeed." Maria knows what she is talking about because she and her teammates have lived through both the highs and lows of research. The V3PO project will culminate in February when the plant cuttings are launched into space. It's an event that Maria is very much looking forward to because, after all, the excitement of having an experiment performed aboard the ISS and seeing the results is what makes this project so unique. When she's not dealing with the agriculture of tomorrow, she's busy taking care of current-day agricultural projects – whether on the family farm, at school or through her degree study in agriculture. Whatever the situation, agriculture is very dear to Maria's heart.