NASA offers $1 million for innovative ideas to feed astronauts in 'Deep Space Food Challenge'
In partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has developed the 'Deep Space Food Challenge,' which encourages teams to research, manufacture, and show prototypes of food production systems that give physical nutritional things – or food.
NASA will award up to $1 million to individuals who develop novel and sustainable food production technologies to feed people in space, as the US space agency prepares to launch humans deeper into space than ever before. Giving future explorers the capacity to cook healthy, pleasurable, and satiating meals while on long-duration space trips would provide them with the energy they need to explore the great unknown. In partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has developed the 'Deep Space Food Challenge,' which encourages teams to research, manufacture, and show prototypes of food production systems that give physical nutritional things – or food.
"Feeding astronauts for extended periods of time while operating under the constraints of space travel will need creative solutions," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. "Pushing the boundaries of food technology will keep future explorers healthy and may even help feed people here at home," he said in a statement. Food's nutritional value deteriorates over time. That implies that hauling pre-packaged food on a multi-year voyage to Mars will not meet all of the astronaut health requirements.
NASA awarded $450,000 to 18 teams in October 2021 for their concepts for revolutionary food production technology that provides safe, acceptable, delicious, and healthy food items. NASA is presently recruiting new and existing teams to compete for a prize pool of up to $1 million in Phase 2. NASA defined food storage, preparation, and delivery as "everything necessary to store, prepare, and deliver food to the crew, including production, processing, transport, consumption, and waste disposal." It was stated that proposed technology like plant growing systems, manufactured food products, and ready-to-eat solutions might provide future crews with various daily nutrition options.