There are thousands of bizarre challenges doing the rounds on the internet. These unique challenges soon go viral on the internet, with countless participants hopping on board. A number of these challenges also involve some form of food. If you're a food innovator who's looking for the next interesting challenge to take up, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) may have something for you. The NASA, in collaboration with Canada's CSA (Central Space Agency), has launched a 'Deep Space Food Challenge'. The one-of-a-kind competition seeks to find food production technologies which are sustainable in long duration missions to outer space.
Our cargo resupply missions can only go so far! That's why we need your help to design a food system to keep our astronauts feed during long duration space exploration.
Check out the @NASAPrize Deep Space Food Challenge: https://t.co/9mxtZXbwaCpic.twitter.com/izU8nSqPDc— NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) January 30, 2021
A short video explaining the purpose behind the challenge was shared by the official handle. The 56-second clip elaborated on how astronauts embarking on lunar space exploration missions usually rely on pre-packaged meals or resupply of food through shuttles from Earth. Thus, creating a brand, new food production system with minimal input and nutritious output with minimal wastage can go a long way in fuelling longer duration space explorations. The challenge's focus is on identifying food production technologies that can help feed a crew of four astronauts and help fill food gaps for a three-year round-trip mission with no resupply required from Earth.
These innovative food production methods may also help communities on Earth living in harsh conditions and extreme climates. This could also help tackle food insecurity in the future, which is one of the biggest issues that loom large today. "Solutions identified through this Challenge could support these harsh environments, and also support greater food production in other milder environments, including major urban centres where vertical farming, urban agriculture and other novel food production techniques can play a more significant role," stated the Deep Space Food Challenge's official website.
.@NASA & @csa_asc are launching a Deep Space Food Challenge to develop food production tech in space.
Hey @GuyFieri, how about Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives & Deep Space? #STIdocs#Flavortown ????????
Read about it: https://t.co/fnz80uwpJT
See research: https://t.co/18q6RG3L2Gpic.twitter.com/lSRTiiAFes— NASA STI Program (@NASA_STI) January 28, 2021
Registrations for the challenge close on 28th May, and submissions are due 30th July, 2021. Winners of Phase 1 of the challenge will be announced in the month of September this year. The prize money for winners of Phase 1 can go up to USD 500,000 (Rs. 3.64 crores approximately). So, if you have an exciting idea to produce food which could help future space missions - you know what to do!
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.