The United States space agency, NASA has announced it will pay a scientific foodie up to US$500,000 if they can discover a way to feed astronauts more efficiently in deep space.
In collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and the Privy Council Office, The ‘Deep Space Food Challenge’ is a competition aimed at serving up food technologies or systems that require minimal inputs and maximise safe, nutritious, palatable food for long-duration space missions, according to a description on its website.
Space agencies are trying to find a more feasible way to use technology to bring nutritious food into the restricted spacecraft environment without weighing the spacecraft down or producing more waste.
The Deep Space Food Challenge’s website stipulates that this technology should be designed to feed a crew of up to four astronauts over the course of a three-year period. Scientists who want to cook up an idea have until the 20th of May to register. NASA will award $25,000 to up to 20 teams.
"NASA has knowledge and capabilities in this area, but we know that technologies and ideas exist outside of the agency," commented Grace Douglas, NASA lead scientist for advanced food technology at Johnson Space Centre in Houston.
"Raising awareness will help us reach people in a variety of disciplines that may hold the key to developing these new technologies.”
If you have a bright idea for how to feed astronauts you can check out the Deep Space Food Challenge website here.