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NASA, Canadian Space Agency offering $500k for ideas on growing space food

Wednesday, February 3rd 2021, 1:25 pm - Do you have an idea on how to feed astronauts in space? Share it and you could be half a million dollars richer.

The modern-day space race has scientists working towards putting humans on Mars. The challenges associated with such an endeavour are numerous: exposure to space radiation, feelings of isolation and confinement, and the potential health implications of living on Mars' reduced-gravity environment, relative to Earth.

Another issue will be feeding early Mars explorers.

On the International Space Station, astronaut's food is prepared on Earth, but that isn't possible on an extended Mars expedition.

In light of this, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are asking the public to submit ideas on how to produce food in space.

Dubbed the Deep Space Food Challenge, the initiative is offering participants up to $500,000 for their actionable ideas. Applicants have until July 30 to submit their proposals.

And, like many technologies developed by NASA, the ideas may have implications for life on Earth, by teaching us about growing crops in harsh environments and reducing food insecurity.

Visit the Deep Space Food Challenge to get involved.

space - edited by Cheryl Santa Maria in Canva using Canva public domain photos Image edited by Cheryl Santa Maria for The Weather Network using public domain photos.


Space food science is a diverse area of study comprised of nutritionists, doctors, and engineers. Scientists painstakingly prepare food plans for astronauts embarking on extended space missions, even taking into account the psychological state of space crews, and sending along "comfort foods" to help boost morale.

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