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Deep Space Food Challenge

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is working with NASA on the Deep Space Food Challenge, a competition to develop new technologies to produce food for future space missions while expanding opportunities for food production on Earth.

About the challenge

Ensuring that astronauts have nutritious food is a critical part of all human space exploration missions, especially future missions to the Moon and Mars. Crews will likely have to produce food in space to meet their nutritional needs. Producing food in extreme or hostile environments like space is a challenge that many of Canada's northern communities also face.

The Deep Space Food Challenge seeks to create novel food production technologies that require minimal inputs (materials, energy, water, etc.) and maximize safe, nutritious, and palatable food.

These innovations will not only be used for long-duration space missions, but will also have the potential to benefit people on Earth, particularly in remote and harsh environments, such as Canada's North.

Using the challenges of space food production to help grow food on Earth

The CSA is involved in two food production initiatives that could be applied to long-duration space missions, and also have the potential to benefit people on Earth. (Credits: CSA, NASA, ESA/NASA–T. Pesquet, Arctic Research Foundation, Canacompost Systems, AlgaBloom International Ltd., University of Waterloo, Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc., McGill University / McGill Advanced bio-Regenerative Toolkit for Long Excursion Trips (MARTLET), University of Guelph, PeaPod Technologies Inc., Noblegen Inc., Concordia University)

Who was eligible to participate?

The following groups were eligible to participate in the Deep Space Food Challenge:

Interested parties in the U.S. and other countries may refer to the Deep Space Food Challenge website for more information.

Phase 1 winners

The Deep Space Food Challenge called Canadian innovators to submit a design concept for their food production technology by .

Ten Canadian teams were selected by the Deep Space Food Challenge jury in Phase 1 of the Challenge.

The teams moving on to Phase 2 are:

Organization Project name
Canacompost Systems The Outpost: Space Composting With Black Soldier Flies
McGill University / McGill Advanced bio-Regenerative Toolkit for Long Excursion Trips (MARTLET) Cricket Rearing, Collection, and Transformation System
McGill University / McGill Advanced bio-Regenerative Toolkit for Long Excursion Trips (MARTLET) InSpira Photobioreactor
AlgaBloom International Ltd. A Programmable Microalgae Cultivation Platform for Sustainable Food Production in Space
University of Waterloo Hydrogel Photobioreactors for Cultivation of Food and Life Support
Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. CANGrow Modular Indoor Food Production System
University of Guelph Canada – Growth Options for Outer Space Environments (GOOSE)
PeaPod Technologies Inc. PeaPod
Noblegen Inc. SEuPS – Space Euglena Production System
Concordia University AstroYeast Microfarm: Space-adapted Nutrient and Flavour Factory

For more information on the Challenge and its prize structure, visit the Impact Canada webpage.

Participating organizations

The CSA and the Privy Council Office's Impact Canada Initiative are working with NASA on the Deep Space Food Challenge.

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