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San Diego State researchers receive NASA funding to create 'space guacamole'

The special space cuisine would consist of enhanced algae, powdered avocado and spices.
space guacamole san diego state researchers
Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 13, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego State University has received funding from NASA to develop space guacamole to nourish astronauts during their long-term space missions.

According to the university's press release, this special space cuisine would consist of enhanced algae, powdered avocado and spices.

"Algae are rich in antioxidants and take very little room to grow in space," the release states. "The researchers are using advanced computational modeling tools to alter the carbohydrate and protein levels to maximize nutrition."

SDSU's researchers hope the algae recipe will be used to cook a wide variety of tastier, space-friendly meals.

The money for this project is coming from a NASA program that supports researchers at Minority Serving Institutions. Specifically, the goal is to create innovative, new technologies that would both benefit space exploration and succeed in a commercial marketplace.

SDSU is working an another important research initiative with dollars from a separate NASA program: improving autonomous drone safety.

This project will focus on developing a tool that can calculate and simulate flight paths to keep automatic, low-flying drones from crashing into buildings and other aircraft.

Below, you'll find the other 14 institutions NASA gave funding too, as well as the titles of their projects:

  • Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida
    • Creating a Storage Standard for Methane
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
    • Scenario Based XR Immersive Training Environment
  • California State University, Northridge
    • Glass Fiber Reinforcement in 3D Printed Concrete
  • Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu
    • LiqMEST-Liquid Metal Electric. Protective Textile
  • New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn
    • Geocrete for Fully Deployable In-situ Construction
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas 
    • High Throughput, Real-Time, Label-Free Cell Assays
  • The University of Texas at Arlington
    • Multiscale Defect Analysis of Advanced Composites
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
    • 3D Microfluidic Cardiac Model in Microgravity
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg
    • Inflammation and Brain Health for Astronauts
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
    • Impact of Repeated Loading on the Lunar Launch Pad
  • University of California, Irvine
    • Acoustic modeling & testing of interacting rotors
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando (three selected projects)
    • A CNS Digital Twin Framework for AAM
    • Multimodal Wireless Piezoelectric Microsensors
    • SUPERSAF-SAF for Low Emission Supersonic Transport
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    • Development of Fire-retardant Polymers for NASA
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
    • Ranger: Multifunctional Intelligent Sensor System