Deep Space Food Challenge winner: Growing ideas on Earth to feed astronauts on the Moon

News release

April 10, 2024 — Longueuil, Quebec

Following a three-year competition, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced Vancouver-based Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. (Ecoation) as the winner of the Deep Space Food Challenge. As the Canadian grand prize winner, Ecoation will receive $380,000 for their CANGrow Modular Indoor Food Production System, designed to operate in remote environments like outer space and northern regions.

CANGrow uses an innovative approach to producing a diverse range of fresh foods, including strawberries, cherry tomatoes, mycelial meat substitute, etc. With the potential to generate over 700 kg of nutrient-dense food annually, the system maximizes its produce and high-quality protein sources with minimal resources.

The Deep Space Food Challenge, launched in 2021 in collaboration with NASA and Privy Council Office's Impact Canada, aimed to develop innovative ways of producing food for astronauts on space missions to the Moon and Mars. Members of the jury highlighted the quality of the projects submitted. These solutions could make a real difference in our capacity to sustain long-duration missions in space, while addressing current food production issues in isolated communities on Earth.


"As humanity ventures further into our solar system, new challenges, such as access to nutritious food, will arise for astronauts along their journey. With the Deep Space Food Challenge, Canadian innovators had the opportunity to develop innovative food production solutions to help space explorers that could also apply to people living in remote and harsh environments on Earth. Advances in space science and technology can unlock promising solutions to improve food security on our planet."

- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • The Deep Space Food Challenge is the first-ever Challenge Prize that the CSA has coordinated with NASA.

  • The other Deep Space Food Challenge finalists were:

    • McGill University (Quebec): McGill Advanced bio-regenerative Toolkit for Long Excursion Trips (MARTLET). Protein-rich crickets as a protein source for astronauts and humans in remote environments.
    • University of Guelph (Ontario): Growth Options for Outer Space Environments (GOOSE). Controlled environment plant growth chamber designed to produce a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms.
    • Concordia University (Quebec): AstroYeast Microfarm. Yeast strain specially adapted to produce nutrients and flavour molecules in an automated and optimized bioreactor system.
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) provided invaluable support in the evaluation process of Deep Space Food Challenge submissions, and AAFC and CFIA provided testing support for the food outputs.

Associated links


Canadian Space Agency
Media Relations Office
Telephone: 450-926-4370
Follow us on social media!

Page details

Date modified: