NASA Deep Space Food Challenge Offers Prizes for Food Systems

In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has opened the Deep Space Food Challenge. The goal of the competition is to generate novel food production technologies or systems that require minimal resources and produce minimal waste, while providing safe, nutritious, and tasty food for long-duration human exploration missions. Interested participants from the United States can compete for part of $500,000 in prizes from NASA in Phase 1 of the competition by designing food systems that can provide adequate nutrition for future long-duration mission explorers. Depending on the technologies presented, a possible second phase, involving a kitchen demonstration, could follow. NASA notes that advanced food systems will have benefits on Earth, as well. For example, solutions from this challenge could enable new avenues for food production around the world, especially in extreme environments, resource-scarce regions, urban areas, and in locations where disasters disrupt critical infrastructure.