CHRIS FRANGIONE: Welcome everybody we're just going to wait until the waiting room clears, and the webinar is populated. So just give us a moment. Thank you for your patience.
Okay, looks like everybody is in. So thank you for joining us.
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We're excited to have you here today to learn about the Deep Space Food Challenge. This webinar will also be translated in French, and I'm going to let Clélia tell you how to access that if you would like.
Bienvenue à tous. Merci d’être avec nous pour ce premier webinaire sur le Défi de l’alimentation dans l’espace lointain. Cet événement Zoom est proposé avec interprétation simultanée. Afin d’accéder au webinaire en français, il vous suffit de sélectionner la langue “français” dans le menu “Interprétation”. Si vous utilisez un ordinateur, vous trouverez l’icône interprétation au bas de votre écran, qui a la forme d’un globe, et sélectionnez français. Si vous utilisez une tablette ou un téléphone, touchez l’écran, puis touchez Plus, Interprétation de la langue et enfin “français”. Bon webinaire!
Thank you. So what are we going to do today? Well one we want to welcome you all; two, we want to introduce you to the challenge collaborators that's NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.
We want to give you an overview of the challenge; what it is, and why we're doing it; why we launched it, and how it's relevant to NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and Earth.
We want to go over who can compete and how you actually compete. And then we'll go into a little bit of detail on the actual rules themselves. Following that, we will open up for questions and answers, which will be done through the Q&A tool at the bottom of your screen. And then we'll wrap up.
So, as I just mentioned, please submit your questions via the Q&A chat box you can submit them at any time during this webinar, and we will hopefully get to answer them at the end.
So before we get started, a couple rules of the road. The recording of this, including the transcription and the Q&A will be available on the challenge site, deepspacefoodchallenge.org, shortly after the webinar ends.
It also be made available in French on Impact Canada's website. Questions can be submitted in the chat box at any moment in time. If we do not get to all the questions today, we will answer those in writing, following the webinar.
The final thing is that specific questions about proposed solution or team eligibility will not be answered today live. However, if you do have questions about those, please email, the two emails below based on which part of the challenge you would like to register for.
And finally, please be respectful with your conversations and comments in the chat box.
So let's. Next slide please.
So Angela. Can you unmute please?
ANGELA HERBLET: Yes. Thank you. Thank you to everyone that's here today. So before we dive into the technical details of the challenge. We'd like to give you a peek behind the curtain and recognize this unique collaboration that made the challenge a reality.
So as we look back at the history of space exploration international collaborations have been key. And in the same way the Deep Space Food Challenge is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency in support of the space policies of both the United States government and the Government of Canada.
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So NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have come together around the important topic of food for both space exploration missions and potential impacts here on Earth. So our two agencies are running parallel competitions. And this chart that you see in front of you shows where we overlap, and where we are operating independently. So during the development process for the challenge our two agencies coordinated on the challenge design and agreed upon the challenge statement, goals and assessment criteria. And when it comes to executing the challenge you see here where NASA and CSA each manage their own rules, the applicant guide, the prize purse and eligibility criteria. So it's also very important to know that the NSA has no responsibility in the NASA-led challenge. And likewise NASA has no responsibility in the CSA-led challenge.
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And as you can imagine it takes a lot of work and support to get a challenge off the ground, and to successfully manage it through final award. So the next two charts that we're going to show you show the challenge administrators for Deep Space Food. So NASA Centennial Challenges is the owner on the NASA side. We are supported by technology subject matter experts from both Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center and the Allied Organization supporting the website and the competitor teams for the NASA-led challenge is the Methuselah Foundation.
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On the Canadian side CSA is the challenge owner, with support from Impact Canada and the Privy Council Office. CSA is also being supported by Zone Agtech and Bioenterprise to promote the challenge, conduct outreach to potential teams and identify and connect and conduct networking opportunities.
Next slide, and Chris I will hand it back to you.
CHRIS FRANGIONE: Thank you. So one interesting thing, and apologies I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Chris Frangione and I work with the Centennial Challenges team and I'm going to be moderating today. Angela, who you just met, she is the Deep Space Food Challenge Manager for NASA Centennial Challenges. And by the way, if she went to space, the food she would like to bring with her was guacamole with chips and spicy salsa. So we did ask all of our panelists, what they would like to bring with them, and that is what she chose to bring with her.
So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to pass this off to Monsi. Monsi is the Program Manager for NASA Centennial Challenges. The food she would like to bring to space with her, you can see in the lower right hand corner, is paella, which is a wonderful thing to cook and make. And I wonder if she would actually have the time and space to do that. So Monsi I’m going to turn it over to you.
MONSI ROMAN: Good morning everybody. Thank you Chris for the introduction and thank you, Angela for the wonderful overview of where we are. And so yes paella is what I want to bring. It takes forever to make, and it's amazing so let's just hope that that's going to be a long-range kind of food for spaceflight. But one day maybe we will be making paella on the surface of Mars.
So let me give you a little bit of an introduction about Centennial Challenges who we are and how we fit into an agency
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We are to the first NASA prize program, we started in 2005. We were established to conduct prizes that support a vision for space exploration, and it was inspired by other prizes that have been very successful like the Orteig prize and the Ansari X PRIZE. And I really would like for you to, if you have a chance, to go on and Google those because they have a lot of really cool information that you can learn from. And it explains a lot of how and why we do prizes. And then, NASA established the NASA prize. I'm sorry actually the US government established that NASA prize authority in 2005. There's a link to it, it's a law you can go and read it and it will help you understand why this competition, in particular in the US side has such interesting eligibility requirements. Those eligibility requirements trace back to the law, so just for you to know, that's the reason why a lot of them are the way they are. So, I also want to say that Centennial Challenges is one of the tools in the Prizes and Challenges Crowdsourcing toolkit of NASA. NASA has very many other ways of reaching out to the crowd, and you can find those in the NASA Solve website if you want to.
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Centennial has run up to. Right now we are at 22 challenges since we opened. We have had over 300 teams that have participated, and we have awarded about over $10 million in prize purse. We have been able to reach at least 42 states and 24 countries in our competitions. And the most important part of this chart that I want to bring to you, is the fact that after these competitions, Centennial kind of, you know, we do our work during the competitions. We provide a lot of information to the public, and for our competitors we do a lot of social media and a lot of... we work with the teams to socialize what they're doing and try to make connections. So, after the competition Centennial moves to a different competition, we have many competitions - 7 currently running in very different areas - so we move to the next competition for crowdsourcing and after that, we are hoping that some of the technologies that come out of the competition actually do move to either a NASA program or project, or an earth application that will allow the companies to grow. And this chart shows you the 7 competitions that are currently open, I'll be happy to give you information about them, if you’d like to ask questions, so you can reach out to me anytime. As you can see there are pretty hefty amount of prize purse attached to them, but with that comes that we're also asking for very very difficult things.
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And we just want to make sure that everybody that is listening to this today understands that we really want you to be part of this competition, and we're here to help you in any way we can to make you successful. We are looking for innovative ideas, sometimes those innovative ideas are all ideas that come in a different shape, so it does not necessarily mean we need brand new ideas, we just need the ideas that will fit the kind of requirements we have. I want to thank the team - the wonderful team - that has put together this competition and this webinar. And I want to thank you guys for listening today. And I look forward to meeting each and every one of you as you become part of our Centennial family. Thank you, Chris.
CHRIS FRANGIONE: Thank you. Next slide please.
So I want to introduce now Christian who is the Head of the Space Exploration Strategic Planning Group, which identifies and plans Canada's participation in future international space exploration missions. If he was going to space, he would like to bring German beer and sushi. Now he does make the argument that if German beer is not allowed, he would make the argument that it could serve as radiation shielding. And Julie is the Senior Lead in charge of Partnerships for Impact Canada, which is housed within the Privy Council Office’s Impact and Innovation Unit. With chips being likely too crumbly for space travel, Julie would make the almost impossible decision to leave them behind and bring with her some old Irish cheddar. And I’ll pass it off to you two to take us through the next section.
CHRISTIAN LANGE: Thanks Chris for the introduction and good day everyone.
And I think we see that there are big change or challenges ahead of us just picking the right food to bring. So I would like to start us off by providing some Canadian context, namely why CSA is as really involved in this challenge. And for that, let me recall CSA’s mandate, which is written down on this slide on the top. which really includes the advancement of knowledge, and to ensure that the Space Science and Technology provide social and economic benefits and hence this mandate is really closely linked to providing terrestrial impact and create benefits not only for Canadians but also humanity in a way.
The emphasis on those benefits is also found in the 2019 New Space Strategy for Canada, which was the exploration imagination and innovation piece shown there with a specific mentioning of food. And so that strategy really kicked off our work in food production. And that work is guided by our draft vision statement, which is shown at the bottom. The key aspects there is by mid 2030s we want to have developed some sought after food production capabilities, and be able to provide one or several critical subsystems to an international partner. To implement these visions we have started to work on various activities, notably the Nordic activity which is an initiative to test technologies and grow food in the Arctic, and that is done in collaboration with the Arctic Research Foundation, The National Research Council, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, and also the community of Gjoa Haven. And then obviously we have this Deep Space Food Challenge. And, as was mentioned earlier on the Canadian side (CSA) is not doing this alone. Since this challenge comes with many firsts, we decided to work closely with the Impact Canada, And Impact Canada has a wide experience in running challenges and also already worked with various departments across the government of Canada. So we are very happy that we can rely on Impact Canada's expertise, methodology and platform to run this kind of activity. And with that I would like to pass the ball to Julie as you need to introduce the Impact Canada initiative. Thank you.
JULIE GREENE: Thank you so much Christian and hello participants. Thank you for having Canada on the call as well. So my name is Julie and I have the privilege of working at Impact Canada and Impact Canada is essentially the Government of Canada is challenged platform for social good. So we were established inside the Privy Council office. For those of you who are not familiar Privy Council office or PCO is a central agency and the Canadian government, and we are effectively the Prime Minister's department. So we work on issues of top priority to Canadians.
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So we were established in 2017, we are much newer than NASA Centennial Challenges, but realizing that the government needed to optimize the delivery of our programs, policies and services, and essentially to work on closing the gap between what we intend to do and what we actually do in terms of policy and program implementation really working on improving outcomes and understanding those outcomes that we've accomplished.
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So we do a few things at Impact Canada, I'm going to talk today about challenges. Our other business line is behavioral science, and we use that to improve programs and policies, and are currently focusing all of our behavioral science efforts on important issues like vaccination outtake here in Canada. So our challenge program as we said was established in 2017. Challenges have been our fastest growing business line since we were established. So we have launched 13 challenges since 2017, and we have over $700 million in prize funding associated with those challenges. So we work on critical issues for Canada, like housing, opioid overdose, clean technologies for natural resources, and increasingly we're working on important issues like food waste and food production.
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So, this is our growth phase, this is how we have established ourselves since 2017. And you can see the rapid expansion of our work in terms of moving into more and more challenge based work, working on really important issues from, as I said, smart cities to housing and food. And then during the pandemic while we've been refocused on behavioral science on the challenge side we continue to grow to establish new partnerships like this important one with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA Centennial Challenges. And to work on issues that are important not just to Canada but to the rest of the world, and not just on earth but in space as well. So we're thrilled to be helping to deliver this challenge on the Canadian side, and to be working with NASA Centennial Challenges.
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CHRIS FRANGIONE: Thank you. We really appreciate it. So now, now you've learned a little bit about our collaborators. And so what we want to do now is give you a little bit of an overview of what the challenge is and why we are doing it. And so, we have three speakers in this section. Jim is the Environmental Control Systems and Life Support Crew Health and Performance STMD System Capability Lead Deputy at NASA Johnson Space Center. For him, it's all about desserts, so he'll be taking some crème brûlée, some Earl Grey tea, which will be hot of course. And even though it probably won't fly, he may or may not be bringing some bourbon.
Grace is the Lead Scientist for NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Research Effort, which focuses on determining methods, technologies and requirements for developing a safe, nutritious and palatable food system that will promote astronaut health during long duration space missions. When asked what food she would take on a space exploration, she chose a food replicator because why take one food item, when you can just make them all!
And then Matt is a Senior Engineer with CSA Space Exploration Strategic Planning Group. He has had the opportunity to grow plants in both the high Canadian Arctic, and Antarctica. His favorite food, and what hope brings to space, is highly international - Hawaiian pizza with Canadian bacon.
So Jim, I think you're going to head first.
JIM BROYAN: Okay. Well, thanks Chris for that introduction. And, yeah, desserts are an important part and not just for dinner, you know, dessert for all the meals! So why a challenge? Why do we need this technology for space? Food is a really critical component for all human explorations, including space. You know when exploring the Arctic and Antarctic you know food was a major challenge. Going to space, food had to be developed for Apollo, and it's been greatly refined on the Space Station. And when we go back to the moon, initially the first woman and next man will be using the Space Station food. But as we extend the duration on the lunar surface and, you know, we don't want to always be resupplying from Earth for everything, and so being able to produce food as part of the nutritional intake of the astronauts is really important.
We're not going to go to the moon, which is relatively short, and then after we're there start thinking about Mars. It's really important when we go, that our technologies for whatever they are in particular foods since has it has such a high impact on crew mental and physical performance. We need to validate what we want to do on the way to Mars and on the surface of Mars on the moon. And so, we're involved in technology planning, and we've identified food as a gap. And Grace is going to talk about the 8 different areas of food and how those all factor into having a nutritional health for the crew members. And then what we're doing in space, certainly has applicability to the earth and Matt will talk a little bit more about that.
So, next slide please.
GRACE DOUGLAS: So hello everyone, I am going to talk about some of our goals for the types of things we need to think about when we're developing a food system and we need to think about all of these things for food systems missing any one of them will not work for a long duration mission. It ultimately needs to be safe, and any food system that is produced in-mission needs to consider all of the resources that would go into making sure that that system is safe, which can definitely add to the resources for food system. It needs to be nutritious and it also needs to be palatable. If it's not palatable. Even if it is nutritious, they might not consume it or might not consume enough.
And it also needs to be usable so the entire process to make that food needs to be something that they're going to want to do every day, especially if their focus is on exploration, and they don't have a lot of time to prepare meals similar to our lives here on Earth, a lot of times we just want to go home and have something that we can make quickly that's delicious and nutritious. And so it's going to be the same for some of these exploration missions. If it's difficult to make they might also not be able to make enough or have enough. And that goes into the ability to make sure that we have a reliable food system. So if there's a risk that any portion of that won't grow or the ingredients that go into it will not have a long enough shelf life, then that can become a concern as these missions get longer. We do not want to lose a mission or a crew, because of food scarcity. And that goes into stability. For some of these long duration missions the ingredients that go into them or the products will have to have long shelf lives, possibly up to even five years and that would include all of the equipment, as well in that deep space radiation environment. We also want to have a food system with a lot of variety. If we consider all the fruits and vegetables out there they're all providing a lot of different nutrition. And so ultimately, there are a lot of different factors that we have to consider for these systems and. And this is part of the challenge here that any, any food system you're thinking about should consider each one of these. Thank you.
MATT BAMSEY: And to follow up on Grace and Jim's comments on space exploration and the poll that we can bring with respect to our requirements to bring a good food and reliable food systems on a space mission - well first of all, I think I'll go with the food replicator that Grace suggested as well and change that from pizza. But overall, you know food on the ground; that interface between the terrestrial and the space sector, food insecurity can be a significant issue here on Earth. I think we're pretty fortunate in the US and Canada. Most of us have access to fresh food and to have good food security. But there are communities, such as remote and Northern communities in Canada and the US, that may be fly-in communities; that don't necessarily always have access to fresh food. And so it is to bring the cost of that fresh food by in-situ production for example, down, and on those fly-in communities, just be able to, you know, produce food locally there and produce things that are also have high nutritional quality. In addition there are of course issues we've seen with, you know, disasters and emergencies can disrupt supply chains I think COVID has been an example of some of the challenges that we can have, but other disasters and world challenges also drive and would benefit from having innovative food production technologies as well such as in refugee camps for example. So if, and this is a challenge to the innovators that are out there, if we can produce better food production systems we can bring that cost down for the energy and other inputs required to produce a given amount of fresh food, and we can at the same time have better access to fresh food in urban centers and near urban centers. And again, some of these solutions may translate well to our humanitarian responses to some of the disasters we're facing. And it really is this interface between the space and the terrestrial sector that this challenge is also focusing on. And it's nice to see some of the attendees like Dr. Mike Dixon and Dr. Gene Giacomelli who have been, you know, working in this area for some time. And we're looking for innovative solutions that address and straddle both the space and the terrestrial side. Over to you Chris.
CHRIS FRANGIONE: Thank you. So, before we get into the rules and eligibility. You heard from our experts what foods they would like to take. And you heard from our experts how important it is to have palatable food, food that tastes good in addition to food that safe and nutritious. So we are going to let you all - give you 30 seconds - to vote on which food that you would like to bring. Hopefully you guys can all see this…so I see it going quickly now. 15 more seconds. Okay, we're going to end this; looks like a couple more people…we’ll give you five more seconds. Okay, so just sharing the results hopefully you can see this pizza one with 34% of the votes. And then everything else was somewhat equal. So you just proved that that good tasting food is important as nutritious and healthy food.
So, let’s now go into the overview of the challenge itself eligibility requirements. As you've heard, the goal of this challenge is to create novel food production technologies or systems that require minimal inputs and maximize the safe and nutritious and good tasting food outputs. And in addition, we want to make sure that these could also potentially benefit people on Earth. We do have communities, as you heard that are remote and have the same problems and the same challenges that that people face in space. So you're required to design a novel technology and/or system for food production. Please note that you do not need to meet the full nutritional requirements of the Future Crew, but we want to make sure you can contribute significantly to and be integrated into a comprehensive food system. So you don't have to build the whole food system, but it needs to be able to be integrated into a food system. Quick timeline, the challenge did open a few weeks ago. Registration closes on May 28 for US and international teams; by July 30 submissions are due for all teams. And then there's some review and we’ll have the winners’ announcement in September of 2021.
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So, you also learned that there's essentially three tracks. One is the NASA prize which will award up to $500,000 US dollars in total prize purse broken up around 20 top scoring teams at each will receive $25,000. You'll learn about the eligibility if you're eligible for that prize. Canadian Space Agency where we're $300,000 Canadian in grant funding and up to 10 teams will receive $30,000 each, and be invited to be semifinalists entering into a phase two of the challenge. And the teams that are competing for that must meet the unique eligibility requirements from the Canadian Space Agency which you'll hear about shortly.
For those that do not meet the eligibility requirements of the NASA prize, or the Canadian Space Agency prize, There is a recognition prize that will recognize the top 10 international teams chosen by both NASA and CSA.
So next slide.
So you already met Angela. The amazing Angela who I forgot to introduce earlier, and you know that she would be bringing her guacamole chips and spicy salsa. Clélia is a Challenge Prize Fellow with Impact Canada. She is working with the Canadian Space Agency to coordinate the Deeps Space Food Challenge. She will bring crepes with maple syrup to bring a little bit of France and Canada to space.
I'll pass it off to you two, to bring us through the next section.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you, Chris, this is Angela and I'm going to be running through the US and the International requirements. And then I will hand it over to Clélia to go through the Canadian requirements.
So in order for teams to be eligible to receive a prize from NASA, they must meet the requirements shown in the first column at this chart on the left, individuals must be a US citizen or permanent resident and over the age of 18 and entity must be incorporated in the United States, and also maintain a primary place of business in the US. It is required that the Team leader be a US citizen or permanent resident. Eligible teams can have foreign national members as long as they meet the eligibility requirements listed here. So for non-Canadian international teams in order to be eligible to participate and be recognized as a winner. You cannot be a citizen of the countries on the NASA Export Control Program list, under Category II. You can use the link in the rules document, which is also shown here in the middle column, to check which countries are on that list. So NASA is also prohibited from participating, collaborating or coordinating bilaterally in any way with China or Chinese-own entity. So I know there's a lot of details here and we want to save time at the end of this webinar for questions. So if you have specific questions around your team’s eligibility, or the eligibility of an individual, please reach out to the online form on the website and will return an answer as quickly as possible. In some cases, we may need to do some inquiries internally to establish the correct answers. So it may take us a couple extra minutes to get you an answer, but we will respond and make sure you know. So I will pass over to Clélia.
CLELIA COTHIER: Thank you, Angela. And so on the Canadian side, the eligibility is a little more flexible. And applications are open to all Canadians; all you have to do is…you can even apply as an individual or group of individual…but in order to receive - to be eligible to receive prizes, you will have to register as a Canadian legal entity, such as a business or not-for-profit.
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ANGELA HERBLET: So if you've gone through the eligibility criteria and determined that you are ready to take the next step, here is what they are. We invite you to visit the deepspacefoodchallenge.org website and choose your region. You have three options: US, Canada, or non-Canadian international teams. So you'll need to form your teams, and choose your team leader. Now this is important because your team leader will be the one point of contact between the team and the Challenge Administrators. So make sure you pick a good one. The team leader will also make sure that each team member meets the eligibility requirements to compete and/or win a prize. So for US and international teams, you are required to register your team and submit proof of eligibility before you'll be given access to the submission form for your proposed design. So once you complete the form and submit all the appropriate information, representatives from the Methuselah Foundation will review your registration. The team leader will be contacted by the Methuselah Foundation to confirm your registration and be given access to the submission form. Until you receive that confirmation, your team is not considered registered.
CLELIA COTHIER: Thank you. So, on the Canadian side, it is pretty simple. We encourage you to register your interest so that we can send you updates and information about the challenge, like the next webinars, new resources posted on the website, and you can apply at any time through the online application form before the July 30th deadline. And so registration is not mandatory but it's strongly encouraged. If you are looking for a team, or additional team members, you can join the private forum which is the LinkedIn group, linked in this slide. And for Canadians Zone Agtech and Bioenterprise who we are working with will be hosting on like networking events to facilitate the matchmaking. So don't forget to register to receive all of these updates.
ANGELA HERBLET: So now we'll run through the challenge rules, beginning with the constraints, and then Clélia will review the assessment criteria, and we'll end with a review of the submission requirements before we go into the open Q&A.
So, each team admitted to Phase One of the challenge will generate a robust design for an innovative food production technology that fits within the set of constraints in table 1 in the rules. Since this is a design phase, the goal is to get as much freedom to the teams as possible to bring forward novel and innovative ideas. But we do need to ensure that teams are also considering the environment that they are designing for. So when designing your proposed technologies the following constraints shown here should be considered and taken into account. You see volume, power, water, mass, data connection, crew time, and other operational constraints. Again, all of the specific for these constraints can be found in table 1 in the rules. So it's important to note you can see this at the bottom and this is also in the rules document that adherence to these constraints, is part of the scoring rubric. However, for Phase One, it is not scored with points. So rather these constraints are meant to be considered by the judges to ensure that the teams have designed with the constraints in mind, and that the proposed food production technology, at a minimum, falls within these constraints. The later demonstration phases will evaluate and score these constraints
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CLELIA COTHIER: Now for a look at the assessment criteria. You will be evaluated on two sets of criteria: the overall criteria and the performance criteria. Overall criteria include the adherence to constraints, the design approach and innovation, scientific and technical merit, the feasibility of design, and the terrestrial potential. These assess the overall quality of your application. As Angela mentioned adherence to constraints does not count towards your score in the Phase One. For the performance criteria, which are acceptability, safety, resource inputs and outputs, as well as reliability and stability. They will assess for solutions’ technical potential, both for the food production technology as a system, and the resulting food products.
For more details about these assessment criteria and how they will be evaluated…more details can be found in the rules documents and the applicant guide respectively for NASA and CSA. Back to Angela.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you. So when you're ready to submit your design, you will provide the required information and a video via an online application form. The form will prompt you to provide input for each of the criteria, except for scientific and technical merit and feasibility of design, those two categories will be evaluated based on your overall submission. Canadian teams can find this form on the Impact Canada website for US and international teams, a link to access the form will be sent to you after your registration is complete and confirmed, and you've been admitted as an eligible team.
So through this online form your team will provide a design abstract, which is a summary description of the food production technology in 250 words or less. This should make the judges want to read more so make sure it is engaging and interesting.
Then there is the design report, which will be the full description of your food production technology design. The online form will provide a series of text boxes and instructions for you to follow, to make sure that all of the information that you have is provided.
The design animation is your opportunity to show how the food production technology works when it's an operation. So this should be no longer than five minutes in length and should include set up, operations from a user perspective, inputs and outputs, and shut down and cleaning.
And the last piece of information for your submission is a statement of intellectual property. This is an explanation of who owns the IP of the proposed food production technology. For example, if teams are building on an off-the-shelf technology they must include a detail of the permissions they have to use that technology.
Now it's important to note here before we move on, that the online application form is the only way that a design concept will be accepted and reviewed by the challenge judges. In order to maintain the integrity of the challenge, and in fairness to all of the teams, the subject matter experts will not engage, or respond if contacted directly. Please be respectful of them and also your fellow competitors.
And Chris I will pass that over to you.
CHRIS FRANGIONE: Thank you. So, please, we see a lot of questions coming in. Please continue to add. One thing that would be helpful for us is we would love to know based on what you saw, which prize, you would be interested in participating in terms of the eligibility so you just quickly vote.
I'll give you 30 seconds again. Getting some great numbers here. Three more seconds. Excellent.
The good news is that over 275 people or so want to participate. And it's pretty evenly distributed. So, so thank you for that!
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Many of these experts you've already met, there's a few you haven't. So I'm going to quickly introduce you to the few haven't. Julie is the Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA Johnson Space Center, she would bring strawberry plants; they may not be a plant scientist’s first choice for a space crop, but for Julie they make her happy with the sweet tart flavor bright color, and they are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Ralph is the Food Product Manager at NASA Kennedy Space Center. He's taking Sauerbraten and BIG (all capital) potato dumplings to keep him fueled for deep space exploration. Ray is a Plant Physiologist at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. His favorite crop for taking on a space mission would be potatoes. And Tom, as an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences and holds the PhytoGro Research Chair in Controlled Environment Systems at the University of Guelph. He is active in a range of research and teaching areas relevant to both Bioregenerative Life-Support and terrestrial applications of highly controlled plant production systems. And as he says, it there's no point in going to space if you can't have pizza.
So, I'm going to pass this over to Angela, who is going to moderate the Q&A. We do not have enough time to answer all the questions that came in today. Please keep adding them, as we said we will answer all them in writing following the webinar.
So, Angela, take it from here.
ANGELA HERBLET: Great, thank you.
So we are seeing a lot of similar questions come in so I'm trying to group those together and hopefully will answer as many as many as possible in the next 15 minutes.
But the first question I'm going to pose is to Grace. So Grace, in the documentation for the rules, it says that there are no pathogens allowed or microbes. So for these purposes do you consider all microbes to be pathogens? Could a team use fermentation techniques, or yeast or mushrooms, for example?
GRACE DOUGLAS: So, we need to understand how you're going to deal with the safety of these products so it should say that there are no pathogens. Beyond that we need to understand how you would handle, ensuring that the system will be safe, and it will produce a safe food product.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you. And I would also add to the answer that the instructions for submission require that you do address that. So if you do not address the pathogen, you do receive a zero for that scoring category. So make sure that you are addressing anything that might be there.
So Grace I'm going to put you on the spot again. Are you interested in space food technology that does not get prepared on board, but is rather all prepared on earth before the space mission and has a shelf life for the duration of the flight for three years? But it does have all the necessary nutrients and doesn't take up a lot of room. Is that of interest?
GRACE DOUGLAS: So any food system that meets the requirements is a candidate. The other side of this is that we will be looking at resources. So the candidates that rise to the top will be those that meet the requirements and also succeed resource wise against the other potential candidates. So ultimately our goal is to find a food system that is safe, nutritious, acceptable, provides variety, and fits within the resources. And what that's going to end up looking like could be a variety of things. It could be something produced on the ground or on the mission.
ANGELA HERBLET: Great, thank you.
So, Jim, I'm going to come over to you. So according to the operational constraints in the constraints table, all solutions should be designed for Earth gravity. Aren't the solution supposed to be designed for space or microgravity? Could you expand on the reason for this constraint a little bit?
JIM BROYAN: Okay, sure. That's an excellent question. Certainly we want to use these in partial gravity, on a planetary surface, or in microgravity. But testing for that is very challenging and expensive and beyond what we could ask for in this phase of the project. And so we really needed the basics being demonstrated here on Earth. And so that's why for this phase, we limited it to Earth gravity demonstration. If you can extrapolate how this would apply to microgravity or partial gravity that'd be great. 1G was the requirement.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you. And then I'm going to put the next question out to either Jim, or Julie Robinson. Are their storage space requirements for the food output?
JIM BROYAN: I'll take a shot and Julie can jump in. We're looking for, you know, things that can be produced and consumed relatively quickly. Not looking to say, grow a lot of wheat for example, you know, and then store that. And so at least the focus of this challenge was for sort of ready-to-eat or maybe a short period of storage before it's ready to eat. Certainly don't have to eat it out of the growth, or the production chamber.
Julie do you have more to add?
JULIE ROBINSON: Yeah, I would just add that one of the reasons we laid out the constraints that you see here is because of the volume, mass, and kind of logistic constraints. So, if it's unlikely that a solution that requires a lot of storage is going to work over the long term. Because you're not going to have the stability as you have, if you tried to keep something in a space environment. The reason that we have this challenge out there is because meeting the logistics needs, and the stability needs all at once is really challenging.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you. So Julie I'm actually going to put you on the spot again. Has research shown that the values for the human body’s daily nutritional requirements change for those living in orbit…so on ISS for extended period? And if so, can the findings easily be extrapolated and applied to a theoretical long term mission?
JULIE ROBINSON: Yeah, so there are some great scientific reviews of what we've learned from the International Space Station, about space nutrition needs and I really urge you to go look at those. Those were part of the development of the challenge when we're challenging you and setting the requirements for what a nutritious food system should look like. So, look at those in the challenge and that will really help you know the state of the art today. When we think about crew members going in deep space that means beyond just low Earth orbit like our experiences for ISS, we suspect there will be some additional aspects of nutrition that could matter things, especially because the Deep Space radiation environment is more severe than the radiation environment in low Earth orbit on the ISS. So that's one reason you, that you need to think about stability because that radiation environment could be challenging for certain nutrients that are not stable over a long time. It's also a reason to think about things like antioxidants which help us to counteract free radicals or things like that that that exists in our body so that it's a great area there's good review papers out there and go take a look at those resources and hopefully that will help inspire some of your thinking about this challenge.
ANGELA HERBLET: Great, thank you. So Jim I'm going to come back over to you. Are there any specific system integration requirements that should be considered? For example incoming power, water supply, water quantity, those types of things?
JIM BROYAN: Certainly there will be actual interface requirements on a spacecraft, but for this phase where we're trying to capture a wide range of creative ideas from everyone who's participating, just defining what those resource needs for your technology or your approach to food production is what we're looking for. We're not going to saddle you with its particular voltage of AC or DC current that can all be worked out as technologies, you know, advance down the road.
ANGELA HERBLET: Jim I'm glad to use that as an example because we've had quite a few questions about what type of voltage should be considered, AC or DC. Can you give input on that?
JIM BROYAN: Sure. Um, we realized, you know, we want to have backward infusion, you know to Earth systems as Matthew and others were talking about. And so having you demonstrate at, you know, terrestrial voltages, is very useful when we go to Mars, or to surface or to a long term, the vehicle voltage could be different. On space station we use a lot of 120 volt DC current which is not very common here. But we already have standard ways of converting that down to allow us to use commercially available hardware. And so, what's really important is the amount of energy, you know your system needs. And then, when we move towards system for spaceflight, pending whatever the spacecraft interfaces are, we’ll help with that type of adaption. So, if you need three phase, you know, 220 you can state that that's a lot of power, and you're using that and so you just need to be clear defining how much power, or energy you're using, and will take that into account. And we're evaluating things.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thanks, Jim. So, looking through the list of questions. Grace I'm going to tap over to you and then after Grace answers I'm interested, from anyone else on the subject matter expert group about this as well. There's a lot of, you know, especially around, you know, kind of the world, there's a lot of allergies, food restrictions, you know insulin resistance, sensitivities, should, those types of things be taken into consideration when teams are creating their food, they're designed for food production, or do we just go with the standards that are in the documents we provided?
GRACE DOUGLAS: So for our purposes, go with the standards in the documents provided. We don't know who would will get selected for these missions and these systems will be incredibly limited. So in general, we don't have a lot of ability to support things like food allergens or things like that. We have to send healthy crews on these missions. Potentially some of these areas could help with those things in the future, but ultimately the goal is to focus on for this or that the food systems need to be easy to use; they need to be low on resources as low as you can get them really is the goal, and then also be able to provide acceptable various and nutritious food. So those are really the focus and say foods, of course. Thank you.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you. Thank you so much for all your questions they're coming in really quickly so we appreciate all this. So, Ralph and Ray, should groups plan their system around specific crops, or leave it open for future development?
RALPH FRITSCHE: So, this is Ralph. I would say that, first off, we're not just looking for crops as a potential solution. Not that we're excluding crops, but just keep that in mind, this isn't based on specific crop systems. When it comes to the type of crops I think nutritional content and palatability, are important. We, as Grace mentioned earlier, we're looking for variety so I would factor in the ease of growth, the duration, so that we can make sure we have continuous supplies of food. Things that take longer to grow would be more challenging potentially. But I don't think you should limit yourself too much other than if you stayed more in line with things that require less processing and preparation post-harvest that would probably be to your advantage because that would require additional infrastructure, outside of just what it takes to grow the plants. Ray, do you have anything else you want to add.
RAY WHEELER: No, I think you covered it very well Ralph. Thank you.
ANGELA HERBLET: Great, thank you. So I want to pass the next one over to Matt and Tom. So we've gotten quite a few questions about designing for a specific environment. So there's been examples, you know should I designed specifically for Mars, should I design specifically for a food scares region on earth? Did you have any insight as far as being very specific about the intent of your design?
MATT BAMSEY: And maybe I'll start Tom you can finish, I think in this particular case as the two in the presentation you know this is called the Deep Space food Challenge for various reasons. We talked about the locations, being microgravity lunar surface Martian surface or another planetary surface so no we should not constrain we just are looking for innovative ideas. But at the same time not losing sight of how this could be beneficial here, terrestrially with respect to all the constraints that we talked about in terms of low power and low waist and low inputs. And so any solution that's innovative fits the bill.
ANGELA HERBLET: Thank you, Tom, anything to add to that or did Matt wrap that up nicely?
TOM GRAHAM: I guess I would add that we've always used the terminology, if you can do it in space or the rise to the challenge of doing it in space, you will be able to do it in the harsh environment of so for example the Canadian high Arctic. So, yeah, given the nature of the challenge I would say the space application, knowing full well that tech transfer is there, and certainly applicable to the harsh environments on Earth.
ANGELA HERBLET: Great, thank you. So unfortunately we're right at our time. We are again pulling these questions out of the chat box and noting them and we are going to get to work after this making sure that we answer them. I believe Chris we're going to leave the window open a few minutes after the hour just to make sure that we're capturing all of the questions. There are a lot of questions specifically around eligibility. So I encourage you to go to the website and look at the documents and reach out directly via the web forms or through the email addresses to make sure that we're answering your specific questions about your team members.
So with that, I'm going to hand it over to Chris to wrap us up.
CHRIS FRANGIONE: Next slide please. So thank you all for joining us. We really appreciate you sticking with us. And we appreciate your interest in these challenges and we look forward to getting your submissions. Angela said, we will leave this open for just a few more minutes with nobody on video nobody speaking, so that you could capture this information here on how you could stay connected and how to ask your specific questions. And then as soon as the recording is available we will send it out to all those who registered and let you know that the recording is available. And then, we hope to see your submission soon. So at that, thank you again. Thank you to all of our panelists, we really appreciate your time and we look forward to seeing your submissions. So we will leave this open for about three or four more minutes to capture any last questions.
Thank you. Have a great rest of your day..