NASA sends oven, dough for fresh-baked cookie experiment

Space Science

Fresh-baked cookies are just the fuel any astronaut needs to get to Mars.

CBS News reports on the chocolate chip engineering problem that is sure to capture attention.

An experimental oven delivered to the International Space Station on Monday is going to help NASA determine how difficult space baking might be. With no gravity, the recipe might require some refinement. And that’s going to take awhile, since the oven will only do one cookie at a time.

“When you bake here on the ground, you put the cookie on the tray, the bottom is flat and the top is a little bit curved based on the ratio of your ingredients,” said Mary Murphy, an engineer with Nanoracks, which worked with Zero G Kitchen to develop the oven. “But obviously, nobody’s done this in space, so we don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like.”

“It could come out more like a cylinder, it could actually create a sphere. We really don’t know, and I think that’s one of the more exciting things we’ll find out.”

Dough provided by Hilton’s DoubleTree hotel chain was also part of the 3.7 tons of supplies and equipment rocketed to the space station. It may not be as mission-critical as gear needed for up to five spacewalks to revive an ailing $2 billion particle physics experiment.

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