Butter, Sugar, Flour … Gravity? Astronauts Are Testing What Happens When You Bake Cookies in Space.
There are certain things we take for granted here on earth — like, for instance, eating a cookie fresh out of the oven. Up until now, that hasn’t been an option for astronauts in space. Thankfully that all might change with the latest experiment heading up to the International Space Station. That’s right — a cargo craft carrying something called a “space oven” has taken off and is making its way up, up, and away to see what happens when you try to make cookies in space, reports the BBC.
The oven is headed up not only so astronauts can kick that comfort food craving, but also for an actual scientific reason: to see what happens when you bake in zero gravity. Will they hold their shape? What happens to the texture? We’ll find out when the oven makes it up and is installed. The dough they’ll use comes from Hilton DoubleTree, so presumably when the astronauts go to sleep at night, it will have that same cozy hotel cookie smell in the space station.
Or, maybe not. It turns out, your sense of smell doesn’t work very well in space — spicy foods tend to be the hot commodity up there, because they don’t require as much input from the olfactory system. While NASA equips space shuttles with 3.8 pounds of food per person, most of the entrées come straight from a pouch and the fresh food is usually gone within a day or two — at least until they learn to farm in space, which is another experiment going on.
The oven is making the journey out with a supply run that also includes equipment for other random experiments, including Lamborghini parts and a radiation vest. It’s scheduled to arrive on the shuttle on Monday.