First space-baked cookies took 2 hours in experimental oven

James Marshall
January 24, 2020

Five cookies were baked in December by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano in a prototype oven in the ISS, with the dough supplied by DoubleTree by Hilton, the accommodation chain that offers fresh cookies every night to its guests.

The average DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie bakes in a convection oven for 16-18 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit on Earth but, with no cookie recipe specific for space, the process had to take some trial and error.

As the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) baked the famous DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookies - making them the first ever food baked in space - the aroma wafted through the space station, adding a reminder of the simple joys of home to an experiment created to make long-duration space flight more hospitable. He then kept on doubling the baking time, till he finally got properly cooked cookies.

And how do they taste? They remain frozen in a laboratory in the Houston area after being splashed into a SpaceX capsule two weeks ago.

The unique experiment was the product of a partnership with Zero G Kitchen, proprietors of the first space oven, Nanoracks, a leading provider of commercial access to space, and DoubleTree by Hilton.

The makers of the oven anticipated a distinction in baking time in scrape, but no longer that mighty.

"While we have initial visual and scent feedback from the crew aboard the ISS, we're excited to dive into fully understanding the baking results - including breaking down why the bake time and temperature in space varies from what we are used to seeing on Earth, as well as if the baking tray, which was designed specifically for microgravity, impacted the final shape of the baked cookies", said Mary Murphy, senior internal payloads manager, Nanoracks. "Overall, I think it's a very impressive first experiment".

Located near NASA's Johnson Space Center, Nanoracks designed and built the small electric test oven that was launched at the space station last November. 5 frozen raw cookies recognize been already up there.

The first cookie, in the oven for 25 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius), finished very undercooked.

Astronauts agreed that the fourth and fifth cookies were the most successful, after baking for 120 minutes and 130 minutes respectively.

"So this time, I earn search for some browning", Parmitano radioed. "I can not divulge you whether or no longer it is cooked your total manner or no longer, but it indubitably doesn't gaze admire cookie dough to any extent additional".

Additional tests are needed to determine whether the three returned cookies are safe to eat.

As for the aroma, astronauts could smell the cookies when they were taken out of the oven, except the first. He now teaches at Columbia University and is a paid spokesperson for DoubleTree by Hilton. It be offering one amongst the scrape-baked cookies to the Smithsonian Institution's Nationwide Air and Condominium Museum for show.

"The reminder of dwelling, the connection with dwelling, I reflect, can't be overstated", Massimino acknowledged. "From my non-public expertise ... meals is stunning important for no longer staunch food regimen but furthermore for morale in keeping of us associated to their dwelling and their Earth".

Eating something other than dehydrated or prepackaged food will be particularly important as astronauts head back to the moon and on to Mars. What is now in orbit is essentially food heaters.

There's an added bonus of having freshly baked cookies in scrape.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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