NASA has just issued what they’re calling “The Deep Space Food Challenge,” in which they will offer one winner $500,000 for coming up with a way to get astronauts their fresh food while embarking on deep space missions.
It sounds a lot easier than it actually is, and that is why NASA is seeking assistance in finding a way to provide “future space explorers and people on Earth nutritious foods they will enjoy” in an effort to not have to constantly rely on freeze-dried items while in deep space.
As the paper, Space Food for Thought: Challenges and Considerations for Food and Nutrition on Exploration Missions has pointed out, there are a lot of “profound psychological benefits” that come from consuming fresh fruit and vegetables.
They pointed out that making such fresh produce drops at this point in time is pretty much impossible. According to UPI, even a produce drop to somewhere like Mars is impossible because of so many time, space, and environmental factors aboard spaceships.
But that is where your potential idea comes into play! If you can figure out a solution to the problem and find a manner in which fresh food can be grown and harvested in deep space, then you’re a winner! Plus, the competition’s website has also stated that the solution, which makes adept use of short supplies of water, volume, etc., could then potentially be used here on Earth as well to help areas affected by food shortages. How awesome would that be to create a solution that not only feeds astronauts in deep space, but could potentially help fix the world’s hunger problems?
If this sounds like something that you would like to try and tackle, then you need to sign up for the contest by the 28th of May in order to have your Phase 1 ideas submitted by July 30th.
NASA is set to give $25,000 to as many as 20 of their favorite ideas. Once this round is complete, the contest transitions to Phase 2. For all information, click here.
What do you think of NASA’s competition? Do you have an idea you’ll be submitting? Let us know!SKM: below-content placeholder