DoubleTree by Hilton and its guests around the world have always said the brand’s famous chocolate chip cookies are out-of-this-world, and today, the cookies are officially on the International Space Station (ISS) and about to become the first food baked in space. Launched at 6:59 PM GST on Saturday, Nov. 2 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, the brand’s cookie dough will be baked inside a prototype oven in the coming days by astronauts in a historic scientific experiment. The spacecraft officially arrived at the ISS at 4:10 a.m. ET on Monday and was bolted into place on the station’s Earth-facing port.
Announced earlier this year, the launch is a result of a partnership between DoubleTree by Hilton, Zero G Kitchen, which creates appliances for microgravity use in long-duration space flights, and Nanoracks, a leading provider of commercial access to space. The objective of the initiative is to make long-duration space travel more hospitable.
“While Hilton has had many firsts throughout its 100-year history, this experiment will mark Hilton as the first hospitality company to participate in research aboard the space station,” said Shawn McAteer, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “We’re thrilled our DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie is sending Hilton hospitality into orbit and contributing to a pivotal moment in aerospace history as we test the outcome of the first food baked in space.”
Mary Murphy, senior internal payloads manager, Nanoracks, continues, “We’re excited to test the prototype oven in space with the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies, as all aspects of the oven and trays were designed by Nanoracks for operation in the microgravity environment of the ISS. What’s so interesting about this is that it will be the first time anything will be baked in space. What will the cookies look like? Will they bake out equally in all directions and form a sphere, or stay flat? While we don’t know for sure how the experiment will turn out, we are looking forward to finding out and learning how to best bake food products in space.”
After the baking experiment, the cookies will undergo additional testing back on Earth to assess the outcome. But don’t worry, astronauts aboard the ISS will be given an opportunity to enjoy special pre-baked DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies since those baked in the prototype oven will return to Earth to be studied. Stay tuned for additional information on the results from DoubleTree by Hilton in the coming weeks.