Space-baked Cookies Back on Earth

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January 23, 2020

It takes two hours to bake cookies in space, astronauts have revealed.

Space cookies

U.S. astronaut Christina Koch and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano performed the cookie-baking experiment aboard the International Space Station recently. The flavor was chocolate chip. It was the first time that raw ingredients had been used to bake food in space.

Three cookies are back on Earth, having arrived still sealed in their individual baking pouches. A SpaceX capsule brought them back, and scientists have frozen two of them in a Houston-area lab. The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum will display one cookie.

It took a few attempts to get the consistency right, Parmitano reported, baking the cookies one at a time at varying temperatures in an electric test oven designed by Nanoracks, a company based not far from NASA's Johnson Space Center. With the fourth cookie, Parmitano left it baking for two hours and reported to scientists on the ground that the cookie was the looked-for color of brown. For the fifth and final cookie, Parmitano increased the oven temperature from 300 degrees Fahrenheit to the maximum, 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and left the cookie in the oven for 2 hours, 10 minutes. That cookie turned out even better, Parmitano said.

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