NASA, CSA space contest announces winning astronaut food ideas

The most innovative astronaut food ideas were honored by the United States and Canadian space agencies NASA and CSA in a contest designed to help facilitate extended space travel, Daily Sabah reports citing German Press Agency.

NASA announced the 28 winners from around 180 global submissions for the "Deep Space Food Challenge" in a prerecorded show on Monday.

Teams were challenged to create game-changing food technologies or systems that need minimal input to produce "safe, nutritious and palatable" food for long-haul space missions.

The "Electric Cow" team from Germany proposed using microorganisms and 3D printers to produce food from carbon dioxide.

The "Deep Space Entomoculture" team from Massachusetts suggested generating meat-style food products from dry-preserved insect cells transported into space and reactivated in a suspension bioreactor.

The Brazilian "LTCOP" team's design aims to produce strawberries and taioba, a popular crop in southeastern Brazil, on Mars conditions and in transit.

The 18 U.S. winners and 10 international winners received mostly cash prizes and were invited to take part in a second phase of the challenge.

NASA chief Bill Nelson said the contest was designed primarily with longer missions to more distant destinations in mind. Nelson also said the space agency needed food that can help when on missions to Mars.

Former astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent about a year on the International Space Station (ISS), said the food on the ISS was adequate, but that "growing, preparing and eating good food makes you feel connected to home."


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