An oven especially sent to the International Space Station (ISS) for the astronauts on board to make an experiment has delivered the end results. Researchers on board of the ISS have recently tested the oven to bake a bunch of chocolate chip cookies.
First-Ever Baked Food in Space
The results of the experiment have been announced, and it states that the cookies took a lot longer to bake in space than on Earth. The cookies that came out best needed two whole hours of backing time, with the backing time on Earth usually rotating around 20 minutes.
The cookies were sent back to Earth this month in a SpaceX-designed spacecraft that landed in the Pacific Ocean. The goodies are the first-ever food baked in space, coming from raw materials. According to the officials, the cookies will be kept in a freezer in a laboratory in Huston, Texas.
The oven was designed and built by Nanoracks, and the cookie dough was sent by Hilton DoubleTree hotels. The oven manufacturers stated they did expect a small difference in backing time in space, but the fact that the disparity was so massive took them by surprise.
“There’s still a lot to look into to figure out really what’s driving that difference, but definitely a cool result,” said Mary Murphy, representing the company Nanoracks, which is based in Texas.
Murphy stated that the backing results would be analyzed in order to comprehend better the reason why the backing time in space is much longer. Moreover, scientists will also observe the effectiveness of the backing tray, which was created for microgravity situations.
The five chocolate chip cookies were frozen when the astronauts got them, and each had to be naked separately.
Two Hours to Bake a Cookie
Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano was responsible for the experiment that was carried out in December of 2019. He reported that he left the first cookie in the oven for 25 minutes at 145 degrees Celsius, but as he took it out, it was seriously under-baked.
The next two cookies had a more than double backing time, and they looked better but were still under-baked. The fourth cookie was left in the oven for two hours, which was a better approach.
“I can’t tell you whether it’s cooked all the way or not, but it certainly doesn’t look like cookie dough anymore,” Parmitano reported to the ground controllers.
Parmitano left the fifth cookie in the oven for 130 minutes and turned the temperature to 163 degrees Celsius. The astronaut reported the best results with its fifth attempt.