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NASA is offering Rs 3.6 crore to anyone who can find out how to feed astronauts in space!
NASA says that it’s specifically looking for a method of food production that can feed a crew of four astronauts
Eating in space and procuring healthy food for astronauts can be a real challenge! Attempting to solve this long-standing problem, NASA is offering a $5,00,000 cash prize (Rs 3.6 crore) to people who can come up with some healthy and sustainable food that can be consumed by astronauts in space. NASA, in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, has launched the ‘Deep Space Food Challenge’, which calls on people to develop new technologies to produce food for future space missions.
In a tweet, Deep Space Food Challenge wrote, ”Can we agree that no matter who or where we are, #food is our common ground? @NASAPrize and @csa_asc invite innovators to design food for the next frontier! Join the #DeepSpaceFood movement to help accelerate food technologies for space and on Mars.”
On the Challenge website, NASA says that it’s specifically looking for a method of food production that can feed a crew of four astronauts during a three-year round trip mission, and it wants the technology to work on Earth too, providing a viable option in habitable-but-food insecure areas, and in “remote and harsh environments.
”Astronauts need hearty nutrients to maintain a healthy diet in space, but like any of us, they want their food to taste good, too! As NASA develops concepts for longer crewed missions to Mars and beyond, the agency will need innovative and sustainable food systems that check all the boxes. In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has opened the Deep Space Food Challenge. The goal 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,” the challenge reads.
“NASA has knowledge and capabilities in this area, but we know that technologies and ideas exist outside of the agency. Raising awareness will help us reach people in a variety of disciplines that may hold the key to developing these new technologies,” Grace Douglas, NASA’s lead scientist for advanced food technology at Johnson Space Center, told UPI.
Anyone who is interested in putting a team together to develop some Deep Space food needs to register on the Challenge website by May 28, and Phase 1 concepts must be submitted by July 30. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced in Spring 2024.