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New NASA Challenge Offers Prize worth $500k; How to Apply

Astronauts are after all humans too, they need hearty nutrients to maintain a healthy diet to sustain in space. Since NASA has been developing concepts for longer crewed missions to Mars and beyond, the agency will need help to build innovative yet sustainable healthy food systems. That’s where things get interesting, the competition steps in.

Upholding an objective to develop a revolutionary food production technology or a system that requires minimal resources and produce minimal waste, while providing safe, nutritious, and tasty food for long-duration human exploration missions. NASA coordinating with Canadian Space Agency recently via their Twitter handle have posted a challenge for all those creative geniuses. “The Deep Space Food Challenge” offers up to a $500K prize for ideas on how to provide astronauts healthy, tasty food for longer missions to Mars and beyond.

The ultimate aim is to enable new possible courses of action for food production in extreme environments under resource-scarce regions. The Canadian Space Agency believes that finding solutions to these problems will also help the food production system on Earth wherein locations where disasters disrupt critical infrastructure such as Canada’s northern communities, a rightful example given by the President of Canadian Space Agency Lisa Campbell.

The competition aims to provide food that meets the caloric and nutritional requirements of our astronauts.

About the competition:

Interested participants from the United States are eligible to compete in Phase 1 of the competition by designing food systems that can provide adequate nutrition for future long-duration mission explorers. They will be eligible for the prize money worth $500k.

Further, depending on the technologies presented, there will be a possible second phase which may involve a kitchen demonstration.

On the other hand, The Canadian Space Agency will be hosting a parallel competition with a separate application and judging process, as well as its own prize purse, for participating Canadian teams. However, qualifying teams from other countries may compete but will not be eligible for monetary prizes.

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