Astronauts Baked Cookies in Space and Were Surprised at How Long It Took
Unfortunately for the astronauts, they weren't allowed to eat their space-baked cookies as these were part of a science project which tested out a new oven in space.
The cookies have been sent back down to Earth for analysis.
The space oven
The special oven that was sent up to the ISS was created by a New York-based startup called Zero G Kitchen, and Nanoracks, a Space technology developer. The ingredients for the cookies were provided by DoubleTree by Hilton.
The whole point of the experiment was to see if baking in Space was even possible.
On Earth, baking is a relatively easy task — for those who have the touch. In Space, however, it's an entirely different matter, as the astronauts who tried their hand at Space baking discovered.
That's where the Zero G oven comes into play. It creates an environment where baking is possible. It's shaped like a cylinder with heaters on all sides to ensure the cookie is evenly heated.
The astronaut in charge of the baking bonanza was Luca Parmitano from the European Space Agency (ESA). Parmitano said that "We were able to bake the samples, but it took a few attempts to figure out how long they had to stay in the oven."
Parmitano explained that the first three cookies they attempted to bake came out very doughy, but that the last two were nice and brown, with melted chocolate chips. They had to be baked for two hours — a big jump up from Earth's 20-minute cookie-baking requirements.
He said "The samples are now stored in a freezer to be returned to the Earth for analysis. We’ll see how well it worked!"
The reason the astronauts weren't allowed to taste their mouth-watering cookies was in case they weren't properly baked. The whole point of the experiment is to try and bring more home flavors to astronauts who will spend multi-year trips up in Space in the future.
I have an important announcement.— Smarter Every Day (@smartereveryday) January 24, 2020
The first chocolate chip cookie🍪 has been baked in space.
Well done @nasa & @esa. Actually, it wasn't well done, the first one was a bit doughy. @astro_luca was able to get a good one after a couple of tries though.https://t.co/vOZVZYQN7P pic.twitter.com/7b9GrFhEeo
Mary Murphy, senior internal payloads manager at Nanoracks said "What are we going to do when we’re in those experiences, and what are we going to need for those people to have a good experience and to be able to perform all these tasks that we’re going to ask of them to do all this amazing science research."
"So one of the things that came to us as an opportunity was looking at baking in space," she continued.
And not to fret, DoubleTree by Hilton also provided fully baked cookies for the astronauts to enjoy over the merry season.