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Smithsonian Museum showcases Doubletree by Hilton’s space-baked chocolate chip cookie

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DoubleTree by Hilton made history in 2019 by sending their signature chocolate chip cookie to space onboard the International Space Station. The cookie, baked in a partnership with Zero G Kitchen and Voyager Space, has now returned to Earth and has been donated to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The idea for the cookie in space was sparked in 2018 when DoubleTree by Hilton tweeted to Elon Musk after SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into space, asking if the mannequin in the car would like a cookie for the trip.

Hilton became the first hospitality company to participate in research aboard the International Space Station with the cookie baking experiment. After trial and error, the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafted through the space station, providing a reminder of the simple joys of home in the midst of a landmark science experiment. The frozen cookie arrived at the Smithsonian in 2021 and was defrosted and dehydrated over a two-month period. The preservation process involved testing various methods on test versions of the cookie for an additional year to ensure its longevity.

The cookie, now preserved inside a chamber with nitrogen and silica to keep it dry and prevent molding, will be on display at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center until 2025. After that, it will become a part of a new exhibit called At Home in Space at the museum’s new building in Washington, D.C. in 2026. Entrance to the museum to view the historic cookie is free for all guests. This display marks a significant moment in history as DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookie becomes the first-ever food baked in space by astronauts.

The collaboration between DoubleTree by Hilton and Zero G Kitchen, with the help of Voyager Space, paved the way for the historic opportunity to bake a cookie in space. The project began with a tweet to Elon Musk and eventually led to Hilton becoming the first hospitality company to conduct research aboard the International Space Station. The successful baking of the chocolate chip cookie in space added a touch of warmth and familiarity to an otherwise sterile environment, making long-duration space flights more hospitable for astronauts on board.

The chocolate chip cookie experiment represents a unique intersection of food, science, and history. The careful preservation and display of the cookie at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center allows visitors to witness this momentous occasion firsthand. The exhibit serves as a reminder of the advancements in space exploration and the innovative ways in which companies like DoubleTree by Hilton are contributing to scientific research in space. The cookie’s journey from Earth to space and back again exemplifies the limitless possibilities of human ingenuity and curiosity.

Visitors to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center can now take part in experiencing a piece of space history by viewing the first food ever baked in space. The cookie’s unique story is a fascinating example of how unexpected partnerships and daring ideas can lead to groundbreaking achievements. As technology continues to advance, it is exciting to imagine what other culinary experiments and innovations may be possible in the future. The display of DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookie at the museum is not only a testament to human progress but also a reminder of the simple joys that can bring us together, even in the vast expanse of outer space.

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