NASA offers $1 million for systems to feed astronauts

NASA invites the public to come up with an innovative idea to provide nutritional and sustainable food in space

Tech Desk January 24, 2022

NASA, in coordination with Canadian Space Agency, called out to the public for ideas to help develop innovative and sustainable food production systems, requiring minimum resources and producing minimum waste. The Deep Face Food Challenge is a competition that invites interested people to design, build and demonstrate prototypes of food production technologies that can provide nutritional food.

Jim Reuter, associate administrator at NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate says, "Feeding astronauts over long periods within the constraints of space travel will require innovative solutions. Pushing the boundaries of food technology will keep future explorers healthy and could even help feed people here at home."

The challenge is aimed at not only providing solutions to providing nutritional food to astronauts in space but also helping community-based local food production and supplying food chain shortages. This will help improve the humanitarian response to disasters, pushing rapid deployment with new technologies.

In phase 1 of the challenge, which took place in October of last year, 18 teams were awarded $450,000 by NASA for their innovative food production technology. 10 international teams were recognized by NASA and Canadian Space Agency for their submissions.

Phase 2 of the challenge invites both new and former candidates to participate, requiring them to build and demonstrate their prototype design. The food, needs to be sustainable to last a three-year mission for a crew of four, and will also be presented for judging.

Interested participants can apply here, and can compete to win a prize for $1 million. The deadline to register for the competition is February 28th.



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