Topic outline

  •   2023 Contest:

    Live in a Healthy Place Design Competition

    What  would you grow in the agricutural module of a space settlement to live well in space?

    Previous winning Papers

     The 2022 Winner was Dr. Maria Kuman, Ph.D

    You may view her PowerPoint presentation by right-clicking on her name above and select "open link"

    Email inquiries or comments to

    Dr. Kuman has received her prize money recently

    • MMAARS logo

      Updated 9/14/23


  • Contest Entry Instructions:

     1.  Go to the Log-in banner and Log in.

                  Select "First Time Here?" and complete the form.

    Who's eligible to enter? Anyone18 years or older, anywhere in the world.                        

     A Welcome email message will be sent within 24 hours.

    Step 2. Read Rationale and Guidelines

    Step 3Read and Print "Information about Entering the Contest:" Disclaimer, Rights Granted and Liability

    Step 4. Download and sign Terms and Conditions

    Step 5. Upload signed Terms and Conditions

    Step 6. Download and sign Entry Requirements and Rules

    Step 7. Upload signed Entry Requirements and Rules

    Step 8. Write your white Paper

    Step 9. Submit completed white paper

  • Judging Guidelines- for Judges and Administrators- Open to Guests

  • Contest Motivation

    Food selection, nutrition, nutrient timing, and lifestyle changes are a means for establishing a healthy universe. The best paper on this subject will receive a cash award and a scholarship toward an MMAARS analog mission in Mojave, California, to test their plan. 

    We invite you to explore space flight to Mars and the challenges space flight poses.  Are you ready to make a healthy entry into a healthy universe for our next space adventure? Imagine yourself traveling in space for several months or years. What health challenges might you encounter and how would you meet those challenges? The contest topic is "A HEALTHY UNIVERSE"  

    Metabolic syndrome severely limits healthspan. Dr. Benjamin Bikman, Professor of Pathophysiology, Brigham Young University Medical School, a renowned expert on ketogenic diet and insulin resistance, states "between 50% and 80% of the American public has one or more symptoms of metabolic inflexibility, otherwise known as metabolic syndrome." The hallmark of metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance, which limits our capacity for production and use of energy. Fats are a more efficient and less damaging source of energy for the body than sugars.

    Cancer risk from radiation on exploration class space missions is high on the list of NASA's "red risks" for long-duration space flight. Reducing this risk is a major objective of this contest via changes in food composition, nutrition, and the timing and frequency of meals. They are considering varieties and variations of diets. Health professionals agree that composition of diet and the timing and frequency of meals is a key to a healthy life with potential for longevity. Presentations from health professionals who support these conclusions are in the Resources section.

    As a place to start, look at the work of Professor Thomas N. Seyfried who, contrary to the conventional model of carcinogenesis, has demonstrated that cancer initiates in abnormally functioning mitochondria. He recognized the early work of Professor Otto Warburg who recognized cancer results from failure of tissues cells to use oxygen for metabolism. This is now broadly recognized as the Warburg Effect. The genetic damage commonly found in the nuclei of cancer cells is secondary to the mitochondrial dysfunction. The genetic damage is not entirely due to external factors like ionizing radiation and reactive toxins, but to food content we "voluntarily" or habitually ingest.  Cancer initiates in abnormally functioning mitochondria.  Professor Seyfried advocates intermittent fasting and/or reducing carbohydrates.

    Dr. Robert H. Lustig, professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of San Francisco, has demonstrated through his clinical practice and research that processed foods high in such things as vegetable oils, fructose and other chemicals introduced with our food, cause injury to mitochondria in the cells throughout the body and compromise their energy generating capacity. NASA researchers in late 2020 published a paper: "Comprehensive Multi-omics Analysis Reveals Mitochondrial Stress as a Central Biological Hub for Spaceflight Impact."

    In your paper you will answer a variety of questions including the question "What biomarkers of healthy metabolism associated with a healthy universe do yourecommend?"

  • Resources

  • Webmaster: William W. Bill Gardiner

  • 2021 Winners

    2021 Contest Winners

    First place winner: 

    Zsuzsanna Benyo

     Zsuzsanna Benyo a B.Sc. student of Dietetics at

    Semmelweis  University of Health Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. 

    Read her paper"IF is not an 'if' but a MUST with Ketogenic-Mediterranean Diet to

     prepare and safeguard  astronauts and humanity for deep-space missions"

    Second place winner: 

    Ms. Katarina Heyden

    Katarina Heyden, a PhD candidate at Cornell University

    studying Molecular Nutrition

    Read her paper:  "A Balanced, Plant-Rich, and Time-Restricted Diet to

    Minimize Health Risks from Space and Improve Metabolic Health" 


  • 2020 Contest Winners

    A University Student & Citizen-Scientist Contest of the

    National Space Society (NSS) Space Health and Medicine Committee

    in Cooperation with

    Mars-Moon Astronautics Academy & Research Science (MMAARS)

    The two 2020 winners presented their papers on the August  6, 2020, NSS Forum.  The links to their presentations are posted below.  (Updated December 14, 2020).

    The first place winner, Ms. Alix Hughes (left), is a native of Ireland and lives in Dublin.  She is  a Master of Science candidate in Space Physiology and  Health at Kings College, London.  Second prize winner, Mr. Stellie Ford (right), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a citizen scientist with  a Master of Science degree in Tissue Engineering from Drexel University.  You will find their papers and their presentations below.