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Deep Space Food Challenge - Winner

A culinary lab for healthier, happier humans in space and on Earth.

Client:
NASA / CSA
space architecture
systems design
Food Design

MUNCH! SIZZLE! YUM! SNAP!

We are bringing a bit of humanity to space in our kitchen-style Space Culinary Lab. The Space Culinary Lab will enhance the existing, tried-and-true space food systems, like the rehydration of freeze-dried food. This gives astronauts the opportunity to mix and match system outputs and supplement meals in seemingly endless ways to nourish their bodies and souls.

Nonfiction's lab design was awarded recognition from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in the Deep Space Food Challenge.

The Lab’s compact, low-maintenance design requires relatively little material, water, energy, and human labor inputs. The results? Enhanced flavors, textures, and nutritional value that surprises, delights, and uplifts humans no matter where they are. It will provide the best of the human culinary experience while promoting health and wellbeing for long-duration astronauts, as well as people in food-challenged environments on Earth.

MUNCH! Growing, dehydrating and forming nutritious, fast growing microalgae into crunchy bite-sized snacks mixed with nuts and other ingredients will be a welcomed change from traditional snacks found in space and on planet Earth.

MUNCH is an algae snack system. It features a bioreactor that exposes micro-algae to ideal LED wavelengths. The algae is then harvested, dehydrated, and mixed with flavor enhancing additives. Supplementing an astronaut’s diet with nutrition-rich macro-algaes can have anti-cancer benefits, which is relevant since astronauts are routinely exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

SIZZLE! A laser grill brings that primordial aspect of humanity into space. It is safe, flavorful and like a backyard BBQ, it builds community without toxic fossil fuels. Who doesn’t like tasty looking grilled marks on their food? For millennia, humans have enhanced food by grilling it. It looks appetizing, brings in a smoky flavor, and makes you want more.

Having astronauts eat enough to maintain their weight is a known problem, and having a barbecue onboard can help. Since open flames are not an option in space for safety reasons, we are proposing to use laser technology to create grill marks on various types of food. You could use this barbecue on anything that is solid, including proteins and sliced vegetables. Here, we are going to use the example of a piece of a boneless, skinless chicken thigh.

The anticipation of the perfect grill marks is part of the charm of barbecuing, so we would like for the process to take a few minutes, giving you time to prepare additional food. Once the grill marks are done, the astronaut opens the door, releases the chicken with the lever, and grabs their beautiful piece of barbecued meat. To clean up, a pre-soaked towel is used to wipe off marinade residue from the glass plates.

YUM! Astronauts whip up chocolate ganache, mayonnaise and many other creams using the emulsion system powered by an ultrasonic homogenizer, purpose-built for use aboard the spacecraft.

YUM is our creaming machine. Giving astronauts access to freshly whipped, unctuous creams to complement their food would be a game-changer. Unfortunately using an actual whip would be messy in a microgravity environment. Instead, we’re using a space emulsifier and reusable bags to mix water and oil-based ingredients and end up with delicious creams such as chocolate ganache or mayonnaise. The space emulsifier system includes an arm with a surgical steel probe, an ultrasonic transducer and a power supply.

SNAP! Hydroponically grown microgreens bring a little bit of planet Earth to the tastebuds and the psychology of the astronauts. Maintaining the hydroponic garden is essentially nurturing nature. It lowers blood pressure, stress levels and brings a sense of balance to the void of space. Closed loop hydroponics can help agriculturally challenged environments on the planet as well.

In detail, our microgreens garden is a beautifully designed closed hydroponics system that connects to astronauts through their stomachs and emotional wellbeing. The curved tubes grow microgreens in a highly efficient, nutrient rich formula while the AI controls the LED wavelengths to optimize growth and flavor profiles.

The takeaway of this project is:

With the Space Culinary Lab, we are expanding options in textures and flavors in the astronauts’ menu. By doing that, we can help them maintain their weight and health, which can be crucial to the success of long-term space missions.

Additionally, we can use these isolated systems to enhance options in food deserts all over planet Earth, such as communities that lack proper nutrition like refugee camps, or communities that solely depend on mother nature to provide them with food.

MUNCH! SIZZLE! YUM! SNAP!

We are bringing a bit of humanity to space in our kitchen-style Space Culinary Lab. The Space Culinary Lab will enhance the existing, tried-and-true space food systems, like the rehydration of freeze-dried food. This gives astronauts the opportunity to mix and match system outputs and supplement meals in seemingly endless ways to nourish their bodies and souls.

Nonfiction's lab design was awarded recognition from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in the Deep Space Food Challenge.

The Lab’s compact, low-maintenance design requires relatively little material, water, energy, and human labor inputs. The results? Enhanced flavors, textures, and nutritional value that surprises, delights, and uplifts humans no matter where they are. It will provide the best of the human culinary experience while promoting health and wellbeing for long-duration astronauts, as well as people in food-challenged environments on Earth.

MUNCH! Growing, dehydrating and forming nutritious, fast growing microalgae into crunchy bite-sized snacks mixed with nuts and other ingredients will be a welcomed change from traditional snacks found in space and on planet Earth.

MUNCH is an algae snack system. It features a bioreactor that exposes micro-algae to ideal LED wavelengths. The algae is then harvested, dehydrated, and mixed with flavor enhancing additives. Supplementing an astronaut’s diet with nutrition-rich macro-algaes can have anti-cancer benefits, which is relevant since astronauts are routinely exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

SIZZLE! A laser grill brings that primordial aspect of humanity into space. It is safe, flavorful and like a backyard BBQ, it builds community without toxic fossil fuels. Who doesn’t like tasty looking grilled marks on their food? For millennia, humans have enhanced food by grilling it. It looks appetizing, brings in a smoky flavor, and makes you want more.

Having astronauts eat enough to maintain their weight is a known problem, and having a barbecue onboard can help. Since open flames are not an option in space for safety reasons, we are proposing to use laser technology to create grill marks on various types of food. You could use this barbecue on anything that is solid, including proteins and sliced vegetables. Here, we are going to use the example of a piece of a boneless, skinless chicken thigh.

The anticipation of the perfect grill marks is part of the charm of barbecuing, so we would like for the process to take a few minutes, giving you time to prepare additional food. Once the grill marks are done, the astronaut opens the door, releases the chicken with the lever, and grabs their beautiful piece of barbecued meat. To clean up, a pre-soaked towel is used to wipe off marinade residue from the glass plates.

YUM! Astronauts whip up chocolate ganache, mayonnaise and many other creams using the emulsion system powered by an ultrasonic homogenizer, purpose-built for use aboard the spacecraft.

YUM is our creaming machine. Giving astronauts access to freshly whipped, unctuous creams to complement their food would be a game-changer. Unfortunately using an actual whip would be messy in a microgravity environment. Instead, we’re using a space emulsifier and reusable bags to mix water and oil-based ingredients and end up with delicious creams such as chocolate ganache or mayonnaise. The space emulsifier system includes an arm with a surgical steel probe, an ultrasonic transducer and a power supply.

SNAP! Hydroponically grown microgreens bring a little bit of planet Earth to the tastebuds and the psychology of the astronauts. Maintaining the hydroponic garden is essentially nurturing nature. It lowers blood pressure, stress levels and brings a sense of balance to the void of space. Closed loop hydroponics can help agriculturally challenged environments on the planet as well.

In detail, our microgreens garden is a beautifully designed closed hydroponics system that connects to astronauts through their stomachs and emotional wellbeing. The curved tubes grow microgreens in a highly efficient, nutrient rich formula while the AI controls the LED wavelengths to optimize growth and flavor profiles.

The takeaway of this project is:

With the Space Culinary Lab, we are expanding options in textures and flavors in the astronauts’ menu. By doing that, we can help them maintain their weight and health, which can be crucial to the success of long-term space missions.

Additionally, we can use these isolated systems to enhance options in food deserts all over planet Earth, such as communities that lack proper nutrition like refugee camps, or communities that solely depend on mother nature to provide them with food.

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