The Deep Space Food Challenge seeks to create novel food production technologies or systems that require minimal inputs and maximize safe, nutritious, and palatable food outputs for long-duration space missions, and which has a potential to benefit people on Earth.
NASA and CSA are focused on how to provide crew members with a viable food system for all long duration planetary missions, specifically an integrated solution providing:
- All daily nutritional needs
- A variety of palatable and safe food choices
- Acceptable, safe and quick preparation methods
- Limited resource requirements and no dependency on direct periodic resupply from Earth over durations increasing from months to years
NASA and CSA will need to provide its crew members with nutritional foods they will want to eat and enjoy eating within all of the constraints of current technology for life away from Earth. NASA must also ensure that the process to create, grow, and/or prepare the food is not time consuming and unpleasant. Although there are many food systems on Earth that may offer benefits to space travelers, the ability of these systems to meet spaceflight demands has not yet been established.
The Deep Space Food Challenge will seek to meet these needs by identifying and fostering the development and demonstration of novel technologies, systems, and/or approaches for food production for long duration space exploration missions.
Additionally, food insecurity is a significant, chronic problem on Earth in both urban and rural communities. Disasters that disrupt supply chains, on which all people depend, further aggravate food shortages. Developing compact and innovative advanced food system solutions could have applications in home and community-based local food production, providing new solutions for humanitarian responses to floods and droughts, and new technologies for rapid deployment following disasters.
Total Cash Prize Pool
Phase 1 of the Deep Space Food Challenge is a prize competition with a total prize purse made up of $500,000 USD, (five hundred thousand United States dollars) and $300,000 CAD (three hundred thousand Canadian dollars) to be awarded to competitor teams for the design of novel food production technologies for long duration space exploration missions.
NASA Prize Purse for U.S. Teams
Up to 20 top scoring U.S. Teams that achieve a score in five or more of the scoring categories will receive $25,000 USD each from NASA and be invited to compete in Phase 2 (should Phase 2 open for competition). Teams must meet the eligibility requirements for the NASA Prize in order to be eligible to receive a prize from NASA.
CSA Prize Purse for Canadian Teams
Up to 10 top scoring Canadian Teams will receive $30,000 CAD each from CSA and be invited to compete in Phase 2 (should Phase 2 open for competition). Teams must meet the eligibility requirements for the CSA Prize in order to be eligible to receive a prize from CSA.
Recognition for Other International Teams
The 10 top scoring Teams will be recognized as Challenge winners. Teams must meet the eligibility requirements for participating in the Challenge.