• Mahsa Keikha

Talking about the Future of Space Food with the Governor General

It was amazing to meet Canada’s 29th governor general, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, last week (Feb. 21) and showcase some of the research that my team and I are doing on IoT space food preparation. Madame Payette was visiting SFU, where I’m doing my PhD with the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering. The research is also linked with my company Connected Things.

Madame Payette, along with being an engineer and businessperson, has served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency. Truly inspiring! It was a thrill to be able to talk with her and her team about our research and results to date. She was very encouraging and provided some valuable feedback.

Madame Payette has served on two space missions, so she knows the challenges associated with growing and storing food in space and keeping astronauts fed. My team is currently working on energy efficient greenhouses – looking at the impact of various control factors and apparatuses - and farming automation systems in space. We’ve already achieved some great results, including 10% increase in biomass, 30% decrease in energy consumption, and 3X light uniformity and precision.

We were one of a handful of teams selected to exhibit at the event presented through the Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, Simon Fraser University’s program for early-stage ventures.

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