In space, no one can hear you chew: Deep Space Food Challenge calls on Canadian innovators for ideas on feeding astronauts

MONTREAL —
Space might be the final frontier, but you still gotta eat while you’re there. So scientists, including some in Canada, are always hard at work improving the food that leaves Earth with astronauts – a mission that can pay dividends for those of us stuck on this planet.

That’s why the Canadian Space Agency is taking part in the Deep Space Food Challenge, said CSA Senior Project Manager Matthew Bamsey.

“It’s exciting innovators in Canada to find ways we can keep our astronauts well-fed on long-duration missions while at the same time improving food production systems here on Earth,” he said.

The point of the challenge is to “get out to Canada and really allow anyone with a good idea to suggest it to us. The first phase of the Deep Space Food Challenge is the idea phase. After that, the top 10 best ideas will each win a $30,000 prize and 10 of those teams will go on to develop prototypes we can hopefully one day use on space missions to the moon and Mars, and also here on Earth, hopefully.”

Making food for astronauts is a challenge in itself: it must fit into vehicles that are limited in size and could be going for long distances. So the food must be “reliable, we obviously have to make sure the food produced is nutritious and at the same time, these systems have to work with little amounts of power and produce the most amount of food possible,” said Bamsey.

“We’re using this pull of space technology, which is really the same kind of constraints that are useful for Earth systems as well.”

For the full interview with Matthew Bamsey, click on the video above.

In space, no one can hear you chew: Deep Space Food Challenge calls on Canadian innovators for ideas on feeding astronauts