Dr.Annie Martin from the CSA explained the importance of health and nutrition in space. The increased effects of ageing and other factors increase the importance of nutrition. During space travel, there is also a limitation of resources such as food which means that all resources need to be maximized and used efficiently.
What it does
It is a web app that takes the input of all details of all individuals on board such as weight, height, and other health conditions and current inventory on board. It will indicate an estimate of days left with current resources as well as a digital inventory. The main feature is the curation of individual meals for all individuals for all days.
How we built it
It is built using python and flask as well as html/css to define the webpages. There is an algorithm that calculates meal plans for everyone while balancing essential nutrition, health conditions and considering variety.
Challenges we ran into
The database to store all of this info between runs of the program was a little difficult to set up and to retrieve all of the information on startup. The algorithm was also difficult as a proof of concept we decided to calculate 8 nutrients and calories. This meant that the algorithm got complex quickly and with limited time to test it had a few bugs and issues.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In the end, we were able to get a proof of concept done that showed the potential of this project.
What we learned
We learned a lot of new skills as well as expanded on many others. For some of us, this was our first time coding in python and for others, it was our first time using it for a web app or experimenting with an algorithm of this complexity. We learned about databasing and communicating between python and HTML to display the output.
What's next for Meal Plan and Inventory Calculator
The algorithm needs some more testing to sort the kinks and getting it working as intended. The UI needs some work to display the output effectively in a calendar-style UI rather than the barebones list currently. The nutrition statistics need to be expanded to include more nutrients to create even better-suited meals.