NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have paired up for a problem to construct meals methods for Mars missions and different deep-space locations.
The Deep Space Food Challenge goals to generate new meals manufacturing applied sciences or methods, which might have little waste produced or assets required. Astronauts ought to be capable of concentrate on their missions and have meals manufacturing as solely a secondary requirement, in response to problem paperwork, in order that they will concentrate on science — the principle goal of their work in house.
The best consequence will be food that is safe for long-term spaceflight and nutritious for astronauts – in addition to tasty, which is able to encourage folks to proceed consuming throughout lengthy house voyages. These meals methods and applied sciences could also be repurposed in locations on Earth with poor meals assets, or for people who find themselves residing in remoted, confined environments like simulated house habitats.
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“We’re excited … to push the boundaries of meals expertise manufacturing that may assist preserve our future explorers wholesome, realizing that a few of these applied sciences may even have nice terrestrial functions,” Jim Reuter, affiliate administrator for NASA’s house expertise mission directorate, stated in a NASA assertion.
NASA and CSA every have their very own utility course of, so decide the company located within the nation the place you might be residing. Folks residing in different nations might take part, however are usually not eligible for prizes; you possibly can read more about international opportunities here. In all classes, Part 1 submissions are due on July 30, 2021.
In the US, NASA plans a $500,000 prize purse based mostly on a Part 1 meals design. “Relying on the applied sciences introduced, a potential second part, involving a kitchen demonstration, may comply with,” the company stated in the identical assertion. More information on the NASA process is here.
CSA plans a three-phase competitors together with a design report, a kitchen demonstration and a full system demonstration, with the grand prize winner introduced in 2024. Finalists might obtain a prize of as much as $380,000 Canadian (roughly $300,000 USD) together with interim money prizes for Phases 1 and a couple of. More information on the CSA process is here.
The businesses have labored collectively for many years on house tasks spanning civil and army house, with the connection getting even deeper in recent times throughout NASA’s push again to the moon. Canada committed in 2019 to building a Canadarm3 robotic arm for NASA’s deliberate Gateway lunar house station. The arm will service the house station even when astronauts are usually not current, utilizing synthetic intelligence.
Historically, Canadian robotics are supplied to safe astronaut seats on NASA flights, and the Canadarm3 growth has already yielded new alternatives. Late in 2020, Canada signed a memorandum of understanding with NASA in relation to the American Artemis lunar program, and pledged to have a Canadian astronaut on a NASA-led orbital moon mission in 2023. This mission can be the primary time anyone however an American has ventured out of low Earth orbit.
Observe Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.