This is what space food will be for future NASA missions

This is what space food will be for future NASA missions

NASA has selected 18 US teams to receive a total of $ 450,000 for the development of ideas that could feed astronauts on future missions. Each team will receive $ 25,000. Additionally, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have jointly recognized 10 international proposals.

"NASA is thrilled to engage the public in developing technologies that could power our deep space explorers," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate at the agency's Washington headquarters. "Our approach to human exploration in deep space is reinforced by new technological advances and diverse community inputs. This challenge helps us push the boundaries of exploration capabilities in ways we may not recognize on our own. ”

NASA, in coordination with CSA, opened the Deep Space Food Challenge in January. The competition asked innovators to design food production technologies or systems that met specific requirements: they should use minimal resources and produce minimal waste. The meals they produced had to be safe, nutritious, and delicious for long-duration human exploration missions.

For US teams, NASA judges grouped the proposals based on the food they imagined they were producing. Projects included systems that used ingredients to create ready-to-eat foods such as bread, as well as dehydrated powders that could be transformed into more complex food products. Others involved cultured plants and fungi or foods that were engineered or cultivated as cultured meat cells.

“These types of food systems could offer benefits to our planet,” said Robyn Gatens, the Space Station's International Program Director at NASA and a judge of challenge. "Solutions to this challenge could enable new avenues for world food production in resource-scarce regions and places where disasters disrupt critical infrastructure."