NASA Announces Deep Space Food Challenge Winners

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NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur enjoys fresh food on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Variety, nutrition and taste are all things to consider when developing foods for astronauts. For NASA’s Deep Space Food Challenge, students, chefs, small businesses and others have come up with new food technology designs to bring new solutions to the table.

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

NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website will air a show about the Deep Space Food Challenge on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 11 a.m. (EST), with details on the competition, the winning solutions and what could be the next step for the teams.

Special guests during the show will include Celebrity Chef Martha Stewart and retired NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, who will announce the winners of two awards honoring international teams that have demonstrated exceptional innovation. Other participants will include retired CSA astronaut Chris Hadfield and celebrity chef Lynn Crawford.

“NASA is delighted to involve the public in the development of technologies that could power our deep space explorers,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Missions Directorate at headquarters. agency in Washington. “Our approach to human exploration in deep space is reinforced by new technological advances and diverse contributions from the community. This challenge helps us push the limits of exploration abilities in ways that we may not be able to recognize on our own. “

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

For the American teams, the NASA judges grouped the submissions according to the food they planned to produce. Among the designs were systems that used ingredients to create ready-to-eat foods like bread, as well as dehydrated powders that could be made into more complex food products. Others involved cultivated plants and fungi or modified or cultivated foods such as cultured meat cells.

Details on submissions and winning teams are available on the challenge website www.deepspacefoodchallenge.org.

“These types of food systems could provide benefits to our home planet,” said Robyn Gatens, director of the International Space Station program at NASA and judge of the challenge. “Solutions to this challenge could open new avenues for global food production in resource-poor regions and places where disasters disrupt critical infrastructure. “

The winner american teams, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Astra Gastronomy of San Francisco, California
  • BeeHex from Columbus, Ohio
  • BigRedBites from Ithaca, New York
  • Austin, Texas Biostromathic
  • Cosmic Eats of Cary, North Carolina
  • Entomoculture in deep space in Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Far Out Foods of St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Hefvin from Bethesda, Maryland
  • Los Angeles Interstellar Laboratory
  • Kemel Deltech USA from Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • Mission: Space Food from Mountain View, California
  • Nolux from Riverside, CA
  • MIDGE project of La Crescenta-Montrose, California
  • RADICLE-X from Brooklyn, New York
  • SIRONA NOM from Golden, Colorado
  • Hawthorne Space Bread, Florida
  • Space Lab Café in Boulder, Colorado
  • µBites from Carbondale, Illinois

The CSA hosted a side competition with a separate entry, judging process and prize for participating Canadian teams. The agency will announce its winners at a later date.

Teams from outside the United States and Canada qualified for recognition but were not eligible for the cash prizes. The 10 international submissions The recognized NASA and ASC are:

  • ALSEC Alimentos Secos SAS from Antioquia, Colombia
  • Ambar de Bucaramanga, Colombia
  • Electric cow from Germany
  • Enigma du Cosmos d’Écully, France and Brunswick, Australia
  • JPWORKS SRL from Milan, Italy
  • KEETA from Bangkok, Thailand
  • LTCOP from Piracicaba, Brazil
  • Natufia X Edama from Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • Solar Foods from Lappeenranta, Finland
  • π from Ghaziabad, India

The Deep Space Food Challenge is a NASA Centennial Challenge. The Centennial Challenges are part of the Prizes, Challenges and Crowdsourcing program within the NASA Space Technology Missions Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington and are managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. . Subject matter experts from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are supporting the competition. NASA, in partnership with the Methuselah Foundation, manages the American and international Deep Space Food Challenge.

For more information on NASA prizes and challenges, visit www.nasa.gov/solve.

Source: NASA Headquarters and Marshall Space Flight Center


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