NASA and the Canadian Space Agency launched the Deep Space Food Challenge to solve the problem of healthy food on long space trips. The team Astra Gastronomy created a compact kitchen system called the Space Culinary Lab. It lets astronauts grow plants, cook meat, and make coffee in space. The lab aims to make space food more enjoyable and give astronauts more choices.

The Space Culinary Lab has four parts: munch, sizzle, yum, and snap. The snap part has a wall of small plants called microgreens for flavor and psychological benefits. The munch part grows microalgae for a nutritious snack. The sizzle part has a mini microwave to “grill” food. The yum part has a machine for making drinks and sauces. The microalgae is shaped into balls or cubes and stays fresh for a few days. They carefully chose flavors to mix with the algae. Some mixes are savory, like peanut butter, oats, onion powder, vinegar, and algae. Others are sweet, like fruit powders mixed with algae.