Astronauts bake chocolate chip cookies in space in historic first

No matter where they're baked, the taste and smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies is truly out of this world.

An illustration of an astronaut with a DoubleTree by Hilton Cookie (photo credit: BUSINESS WIRE)
An illustration of an astronaut with a DoubleTree by Hilton Cookie
(photo credit: BUSINESS WIRE)
In what can be considered one small step for man, one giant leap for interstellar caloric intake, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have succeeded in a new historic first – baking the first-ever food in space.
DoubleTree by Hilton was proud to announce that their chocolate chip cookies were what was baked.
One of the most recognizable companies in the hospitality industry, DoubleTree by Hilton is the very first hospitality company to partake in research aboard the ISS, and as space travel becomes more advanced, it is becoming more important than ever to ensure the travel isn't just successful, but comfortable and hospitable.
And what says hospitable and comfortable like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies?
The cookies were the result of an experiment that started in November, which was set to answer the perplexing question of "what will a cookie baked in space look like?"
As detailed in a video the company uploaded on their website and YouTube channel, over the course of several days, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano baked five cookies, one at a time, while several other astronauts checked on the progress.
However, it turns out that this wasn't as easy as one would think. While the recipe would normally require baking for 16-18 minutes, baking in space requires far more time.
The first cookie was baked for  25 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 149 °C), but was underdone. The ones deemed most successful – the fourth and fifth cookies – were baked for 120 and 130 minutes respectively.
Surprisingly, the cookies looked normal, despite some speculating that the lack of gravity would make them come out spherical.
“Perfecting the baking process for our DoubleTree cookies took time, even on Earth, so we were excited to learn that our cookies appear to look and smell the same on the ISS as they do in our hotels,” said Shawn McAteer, senior vice president and global head of DoubleTree by Hilton.
 “The innovation displayed throughout this experiment and emphasis on making long-duration space travel more hospitable underscores our ongoing commitment to ensuring guests always have a comfortable stay, wherever they may travel.”
The experiment was made possible by the Zero G Kitchen Space Oven, an insulated container designed to hold and bake food samples in the micro-gravity environment of the ISS created by recently married Jewish entrepreneurs Ian and Jordana Fichtenbaum.
“We are thrilled to see our oven, the first part of the space kitchen we set out to build more than two years ago, be used to bake food in space for the first time,” Ian said.
“We already know the results of this experiment are sweet, and we look forward to now understanding how our oven and the cookie findings may build a new frontier for hospitality.”

Sadly, despite the tempting aroma, the cookies were not eaten, and were instead brought back to Earth, where they will be preserved. The company has offered to donate one cookie to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
However, further experiments are still planned, and will likely show that no matter where they're baked, the taste and smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies is truly out of this world.