3-2-1-Cookoff! Astronauts to bake cookies with new test oven

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Forget reheated, freeze-dried space grub. Astronauts are about to get a new test oven for baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

The next delivery to the International Space Station — scheduled for liftoff this weekend — includes the Zero G Oven. Chocolate chip cookie dough is already up there, waiting to pop into this small electric oven designed for zero gravity.

Sample cookies baked just this week are also launching from Virginia on Northrop Grumman's Cygnus capsule, for the six station astronauts.

The experiment explores the possibility of making freshly baked items for space travelers. With NASA eyeing trips to the moon and Mars, homemade food takes on heightened importance. What's in orbit now are essentially food warmers.

Collaborators include the oven maker Nanoracks and DoubleTree hotels.

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