Consuming food aboard the International Space Station (ISS) can be a rather tricky task, but luckily, NASA can regularly send more food up. However, when future missions begin calling for astronauts to travel farther out into space, that won’t be an option. Enter the “Deep Space Food Challenge.”
The Deep Space Food Challenge is a collaboration between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that calls for inventors to bring forward new novel food system technologies. More specifically, NASA is seeking “innovative and sustainable food systems that check all the boxes.”
The food systems need to be easy to operate, healthy, sustainable, and cheap. This is a pretty tall order, but an important one nonetheless. Solutions from the challenge could likely even benefit food production here on Earth, especially in extreme environments.
Bright minds who are interested in entering the Deep Space Food Challenge can join by clicking here. While NASA and the CSA are working together on the challenge, the two agencies are holding separate competitions with separate prize pools. NASA’s prize pool is $500,000, meaning that a selected idea could potentially win all of that money.
NASA’s competition will work in two separate phases. Phase 1 will be NASA reviewing the submitted ideas and selecting a single or multiple winners. Phase 2 will be a kitchen demonstration wherein NASA will likely test the concept(s) even further and decide to utilize it on future missions.