(Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP via Getty Images)
Space exploration takes us to space more than ever-so NASA will upgrade food production and enable astronauts to consume nutritious and tasty meals on long-term space missions.
Deep space food challenge
With the help of the Canadian Space Agency, NASA seeks public participation in the research and development of innovative and sustainable food production technologies or systems that require minimal resources and produce as little waste as possible. increase.
Known as the Deep Space Food Challenge, the space agency challenges teams to prototype food production using technology that provides tangible nutritional products. In other words, food.
As food ages, it loses its nutritional value. Therefore, if astronauts are dispatched to a multi-year mission to Mars, bringing pre-packaged food is not enough to meet all dietary needs.
“Innovative solutions are needed to feed astronauts for long periods of time within the constraints of space travel,” said Jim Reuters, deputy director of NASA’s Washington headquarters for space technology missions. I am saying.
However, food insecurity is a pervasive problem on Earth, especially in both urban and rural areas, so this problem is not unique to space.
Through initiatives such as the Deep Space Food Challenge, we can develop compact, innovative and advanced food systems to meet the needs of food production in the home and community and provide new solutions to food insecurity.
That said, NASA acknowledges that the Deep Space Food Challenge is not only a solution for astronauts to access healthy food, but also for people on Earth. increase.
“By pushing the boundaries of food technology, we could keep future explorers healthy and even feed the people at home,” Reuters added.
Also read: NASA captures mid-level solar flares in the sun! SWPC warns astronauts in high altitude flight
Deep space competition
As part of the first phase of NASA’s Deep Space Competition in October 2021, 18 teams total $ 450,000 in innovative food production technology to produce safe, palatable, high-quality, nutritious foods. Won.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Space Agency has awarded 10 winning teams $ 30,000 ($ 23,847), and the Methuselah Foundation has sponsored a $ 25,000 grant for outstanding innovation to international teams.
In the first phase of the Deep Space Food Challenge, several teams have proposed techniques for making ready-to-eat foods. Some teams were bread and dehydrated powder.
In addition to these techniques, the team also produced genetically modified foods such as cultivated plants, fungi, or cultured meat cells. Deep space astronauts can produce their own food in this way.
In addition, teams participating in Phase 1 will be eligible for Phase 2 of the Deep Space Food Challenge.
However, NASA is currently calling for new teams to join after providing the required registration information by February 28th.
NASA Awards Up to $ 1 Million Prize Money to Participants from the United States
Read Articles: NASA’s Waste to Base Challenges: Sustainable Waste Management Ideas for Mars Missions Open | Here’s Everything You Need to Know
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