If you think your cooking is out of the world, NASA may have the perfect opportunity for you. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has organised the ‘Deep Space Food Challenge’, the winners of which will walk away with a prize of USD 500,000 (approx Rs 3.62 crores).
So, what’s the catch here? The participants will be required to idealise meals that help feed astronauts on long-term space missions, by inventing new systems and technologies. Basically, they’re looky for easy-to-prep space food that hasn’t been freeze-dried and isn’t packaged.
“NASA has knowledge and capabilities in this area, but we know that technologies and ideas exist outside of the agency,” Grace Douglas, NASA’s lead scientist for advanced food technology at Johnson Space Center.
“Raising awareness will help us reach people in a variety of disciplines that may hold the key to developing these new technologies,” he added.
Astronauts require careful diets to sustain themselves in the far reaches of the universe. Space food research has recently developed a special chocolate bar that is enabled with ultra-high amounts of calories to provide energy to astronauts but also keeps food-weights onboard low.
NASA, for years, has been exploring ways to grow fruits and vegetables in space to provide healthier food options to astronauts.
Teams that are interested to develop some Deep Space food can register on the Challenge website by May 28. Phase 1 entries must be submitted by July 30. The top 20 teams will be awarded a sum of USD 25,000 (approx Rs 18 Lakhs) each. These teams will get an invite to continue developing their ideas in Phase 2.