innovative ideas

The US space agency, NASA is now willing to pay up to $1 million to people who can come up with innovative and sustainable food production ideas to feed astronauts in space. The company is giving future explorers the technology to produce healthy, tasty, and enjoyable meals on long-duration space missions that will give them the energy needed to find the great unknown.

NASA’s New Challenge Asks for Innovative Ideas to Feed Astronauts in Space

In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has rolled out the ‘Deep Space Food Challenge’ that calls on groups to create, build and present prototypes of food production technologies that deliver tangible nutritious products — or food. “Feeding astronauts over long periods within the constraints of space travel will require innovative ideas,” 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 could even help feed people here at home,” he further stated in a statement. Over time, food loses its nutritional value. That implies for a multi-year mission to Mars, bringing along pre-packaged food will not satisfy all the requirements for harboring astronaut health.

Previously NASA Granted 18 Teams a Total of $450,000 for their Ideas

In October 2021, Phase 1 of the challenge culminated as NASA granted 18 teams a total of $450,000 for their innovative ideas for food production technology that delivers safe, sufficient, palatable, healthy food products to feed astronauts in space. NASA now invites both new and current teams to enter Phase 2 for a prize purse up to $1 million.

“Everything needed to store, prepare and deliver food to feed astronauts in space, including production, processing, transport, consumption, and disposal of waste should be considered,” said NASA. Suggested technologies such as plant growth systems, manufactured food products, and ready-to-eat innovative ideas combined could provide the future units with an assortment of choices that would supply the needed daily nutrition, it added.

Read more: NASA Begins Flight Testing of Electric Air Taxi with Joby Aviation


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