NASA Offers $1 Million for Innovative Systems to Feed Tomorrow’s Astronauts

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have coordinated to open Phase 2 of the Deep Space Food Challenge, targeted at developing novel food production system technologies for long-duration deep space missions. (Credits: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — As NASA prepares to send astronauts further into the cosmos than ever before, the agency aims to upgrade production of a critical fuel source: food. Giving future explorers the technology to produce nutritious, tasty, and satisfying meals on long-duration space missions will give them the energy required to uncover the great unknown.

In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA is calling on the public to help develop innovative and sustainable food production technologies or systems that require minimal resources and produce minimal waste. Dubbed the Deep Space Food Challenge, the competition calls on teams to design, build, and demonstrate prototypes of food production technologies that provide tangible nutritional products – or food.

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Being in Space Destroys More Red Blood Cells

Astronaut Tim Peake’s first blood draw completed in space. The sample was taken as part of the MARROW experiment. (Credit: NASA)

OTTAWA, Ont. (The Ottawa Hospital PR) — A world-first study has revealed how space travel can cause lower red blood cell counts, known as space anemia. Analysis of 14 astronauts showed their bodies destroyed 54 percent more red blood cells in space than they normally would on Earth, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.

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NASA Selects New Astronaut Recruits to Train for Future Missions

NASA announced its 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class on Dec. 6, 2021. The 10 candidates, pictured here at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston are: U.S. Air Force Maj. Nichole Ayers, Christopher Williams, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. (retired.) Luke Delaney, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Wittner, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Anil Menon, U.S. Air Force Maj. Marcos Berríos, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jack Hathaway, Christina Birch, U.S. Navy Lt. Deniz Burnham, and Andre Douglas. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has chosen 10 new astronaut candidates from a field of more than 12,000 applicants to represent the United States and work for humanity’s benefit in space.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson introduced the members of the 2021 astronaut class, the first new class in four years, during a Monday, Dec. 6 event at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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NASA to Announce America’s Next Class of Astronaut Candidates

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — After evaluating more than 12,000 applications, NASA will introduce its 2021 astronaut candidates at 12:30 p.m. EST Monday, Dec. 6, from Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. After completing training, these individuals could be eligible for a variety of flight assignments including missions on and around the Moon under Artemis.

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JAXA to Recruit New Astronauts

Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide poses for a photo after undergoing a generic blood draw in the European Laboratory/Columbus Orbital Facility (COF). (Credits: NASA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced that the activities of Japanese astronauts will be expanded to the International Space Station (ISS), the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, the lunar orbiting manned base “Gateway”, and the surface of the moon. Assuming, we are looking for new astronaut candidates as follows.

We are waiting for applications from various people who want to contribute to humankind and society through the important role of astronauts who create the future.

Application acceptance periodFrom December 20, 2021 (Monday) to March 4, 2022 (Friday)
Number of hiresMultiple
Application RequirementsPosted on the special site for recruiting astronaut candidates
https://astro-mission.jaxa.jp/astro_selection/item/Application.pdf
Selection result announcementThe final selection results will be announced around February 2023.

Japanese Astronaut to Fly Aboard SpaceX Crew-5 Spacecraft

Koichi Wakata

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — JAXA astronaut, Koichi Wakata, currently preparing and training for the ISS Expedition, has been decided to board the fifth operational Crew Dragon developed by SpaceX. The launch is scheduled for autumn 2022 or later.

This is his fifth Space flight, marking the highest number of flights as a Japanese astronaut. The flight schedule will be announced when more details are available.

Comment From Astronaut Wakata

“It has been decided that I will be boarding the SpaceX’s fifth Crew Dragon. I have been training for a long duration mission aboard the ISS and it is an honor to board this new space vehicle for three consecutive years for JAXA Astronauts, succeeding Soichi Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide.

“It will be my fifth flight to space, following three U.S. Space Shuttle fights in 1996, 2000, and 2009, and a Russian Soyuz flight in 2013. This coming flight is going to be my first flight onboard a commercialsSpace vehicle. I recognize remarkable developments in the space field and acknowledge dynamic activities by the private sector on the low Earth orbit.

“As the world is still coping with COVID-19, I will continue my focus on training and ask you for continued support.”

NASA Empowers Workforce to Advance Deep Space Technologies

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 10 proposals led by early-career employees across the agency for two-year projects that will support the development of new capabilities for deep space human exploration.

These proposals were selected under Project Polaris, a new initiative to support the NASA workforce in efforts to meet the challenges of sending humans to the Moon and Mars. Project Polaris seeks to fill high-priority capability gaps on deep space missions like those planned under Artemis and introduce new technologies into human exploration flight programs. The project also aims to create opportunities for early-career employees across NASA centers to gain experience building and testing flight hardware while developing technologies and reducing risk for future human exploration missions.

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ESA Busy Reviewing 23,000 Applications for Astronaut Jobs

Credit: ESA

PARIS (ESA PR) — Astronaut hopefuls are being asked for their patience as ESA processes over 23 000 applications to its Astronaut and Astronaut (with a disability) vacancies. This number far exceeds the Agency’s most optimistic forecasts.

Head of space medicine at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) Guillaume Weerts is part of the team leading the astronaut selection. He says the number of applications is a positive indication of the level of interest in space activities in Europe, but it will take some time to work through.

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ESA Extends Deadline for Astronaut Applications as New Associate Member Joins

PARIS (ESA PR) — Aspiring astronauts now have until 18 June 2021 to submit an application for ESA’s astronaut selection. The three-week extension comes as ESA welcomes Lithuania as a new Associate Member state. 

Lithuania’s new status as an ESA Associate Member means Lithuanian citizens are now eligible to apply for all ESA vacancies. As a result, ESA is encouraging all those who meet the criteria for the ESA Astronaut or ESA Astronaut (with a physical disability) vacancies, and dream of flying to space, to put themselves forward.

Extending the deadline provides these applicants with the opportunity to submit a complete application.

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Newly Named Asteroids Reflect Contributions of Pioneering Astronauts

In this image from 2003, retired astronaut Joan Higginbotham took a break from training for the STS-116 mission and is shown in front of a NASA T-38 trainer. (Credits: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Twenty-seven asteroids have been named in honor of African American, Hispanic, and Native American astronauts, and one cosmonaut, who have helped expand our horizons beyond Earth and to inspire the next generation of space explorers.

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Join the New Era of Exploration as an ESA Astronaut

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on the International Space Station working with equipment for the Airway Monitoring investigation. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — For the first time in over a decade, the European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking new astronauts to join humankind’s greatest adventure for the benefit of Earth.

Applications open 31 March 2021 and ESA’s Astronaut Selection webpage provides everything you need to know to prepare a strong application and apply. This site is the hub for all ESA astronaut selection content and will be updated throughout the campaign.

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