Canadian Space Agency Announces Winners of the Space Brain Hack Student Initiative

Space Brain Hack winners announced. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

With the theme of food in space, the 2023-24 winners of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Space Brain Hack student Initiative have been announced. This is the second year of the initiative.

Prizes were awarded to students in grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. The task at hand according to the CSA was to create “fresh, tasty and nutritious food with the least possible waste, for several astronauts on a mission on the Moon; (that) should produce enough food to supplement the food already provided to the crew; (and) bears in mind the constraints of a lunar environment.”

The CSA said a committee of experts from the agency performed a blind review based on the following criteria: communication, innovation, validity and critical thinking.

Space Brain Hack Grade 6-8 Winner

The grand prize winners in the Grade 6-8 category were Gurnaaz, Rishaan, Naisha, and Taran, Grade 6 from Bolton, Ontario, for their food production system Edible Excellence 3000.

Edible Excellence 3000 is described as a follows: “Designed to provide a varied selection of foods to the astronauts on the Artemis mission, Edible Excellence 3000 is a complex food production system. When the cultivated edible plants reach maturity – using a system designed to enable agriculture in space – robots will deposit them into a tube. They will then be sent through a pipe and exit, as food, at a preparation station to be cooked by robots. Once the food has been cooked, the meal will be sent to another station, and the astronaut who ordered their meal from the menu will just have to open the door and dig in!”

Grade 6-8 winners: Edible Excellence 3000. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.
Grade 6-8 winners: Edible Excellence 3000. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

In second place was The Life Dome by Aya, Ellie, Alycia and Sarah, Grade 8 from Chambly High School, Chambly, Quebec.

In third place was The Feels Like Home System by Suvreen, Yash, Riya and Mehak, Grade 6 from Macville Public School, Peel District School Board, Bolton, Ontario.

Space Brain Hack Grade 9-12 Winner

The grand prize winners in the Grade 9-12 category were Anirudh, Agastya, Aankit, and Hetav, Grade 11 from Brampton, Ontario, for their TerraStack Food Production System.

The TerraStack Food Production System is described as a follows: “The TerraStack modular ecosystem, which makes it possible to grow up to five groups of different crops, would create nearly autonomous food production for the long-term Artemis and Gateway lunar space station missions. Its key components are a water recycling system, customizable environmental settings, a natural fertilizer system and a system for extracting water from lunar soil in order to maximize the use of this rare resource on the Moon. As well, to speed up plant growth, an autonomous vehicle equipped with artificial intelligence would be able to produce fertilizer by collecting ammonia and carbon dioxide from the Moon’s atmosphere and making them react in an environmentally controlled compartment.”

Grade 9-12 winners: TerraStack Food Production System. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.
Grade 9-12 winners: TerraStack Food Production System. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

In second place was The Lunar Green Vegetation System by Maithili, Tiffany and Nabira, Grade 10 from White Oaks Secondary School, Oakville, Ontario.

In third place was Food Production Module by Matthew, Marko, Daria, Izabelle and Ben, Grade 11 and 12 from Stephen Lewis Secondary School in Vaughan, Ontario.

The CSA said that the “three finalists in each category will participate in a virtual working session with CSA experts. During the session, they will present their solution to the experts and the other winners and receive feedback.” For more details on each project visit the CSA website for Space Brain Hack initiative.

A third edition is expected to be announced this fall.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and Executive Vice President, Content of SpaceNews. Boucher has 25+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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