For those of you in the food business, farmers and ranchers you know who you are, have you got any ideas for growing food in outer space? If so, NASA wants to talk to you! They have just “launched” the “Deep Space Food Challenge” and, as plans are made for longer space missions on the moon and to Mars, they need ideas.
NASA’s Monsi Roman says food is not their strong suit and, “Believe it or not, it’s one of our technology gaps. How can we work on the development of food systems, which is an important part. We can not take the food with us, but a food system that can provide the astronauts the opportunity to just, not stay busy because they’re plenty busy, but at least take care of a system that eventually will feed them.”
Roman says it would give some peace of mind and, “That is something psychologically important, but also gives them the opportunity to choose what they want to eat and, between the choices, it tastes good and keeps them fed with the right nutrition balance that they need.”
When they’re close to Earth, Roman says getting them food is a bit easier and states, “Those resupply missions are important to them, but when we are in a long duration mission that is not going to happen. You know, we can’t do that as often if at all.”
The Deep Space Food Challenge teams will compete for a portion of up to $500K in prizes.