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U of G's Canada GOOSE going deeper into space food challenge

The Canada GOOSE team at the University of Guelph is one of four finalists in the Deep Space Food Challenge
Rosemary Brockett, a second-year masters student at the University of Guelph, inspects some of the plants in the Canada GOOSE plant-growth chamber.

A team at the University of Guelph will get to scale up its plant-growing chamber, in an effort to develop food-producing technologies in harsh environments such as outer space and remote locations on Earth.

Canada GOOSE has been named one of four finalists in the Deep Space Food Challenge.

It comes after panel members from the Canadian Space Agency visited U of G in January.

Canada GOOSE, or Growth Options for Outer Space Environments, is a four-tiered chamber students were using to grow fruits and vegetable plants, including carrots, dwarf tomatoes, peppers and leafy greens like cabbage, lettuce and basil.

As a result, the team has been awarded $100,000 to scale up the prototype.

"The first priority (in the third phase) would be to build the outer shell," Rosemary Brockett, a second-year masters student, said in January. 

"Right now, we reused this massive chamber that we already had. So first, we would build the actual shell for this, which would be much smaller and more compact, and we would also work on refining some of the system."

According to the challenge's website, this phase is the full system demonstration, where finalists will be given 12 months to build the full-scale food production system and demonstrate it at an appropriate facility.

"Teams may be asked to provide a plan for future application of the demonstrated technology in a terrestrial context," the website states.

The winner of the challenge, to be announced in spring 2024, will receive a grand prize of $380,000. 


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Mark Pare

About the Author: Mark Pare

Originally from Timmins, ON, Mark is a longtime journalist and broadcaster, who has worked in several Ontario markets.
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