When baking cookies in space, a silicone pouch allows a clear view. Very fine filters let steam and hot air escape, but keep crumbs in. (AP)

When baking cookies in space, a silicone pouch allows a clear view. Very fine filters let steam and hot air escape, but keep crumbs in. (AP)

The Zero G Space Oven is an insulated cylinder designed to hold food steady and contain heat. (AP)

The Zero G Space Oven is an insulated cylinder designed to hold food steady and contain heat. (AP)

Zero G Kitchen co-founders Ian and Jordana Fichtenbaum (left) talk about baking cookies in space. (AP)

Zero G Kitchen co-founders Ian and Jordana Fichtenbaum (left) talk about baking cookies in space. (AP)

The oven is carefully designed. Baking in space could be hazardous! (Zero G)

The oven is carefully designed. Baking in space could be hazardous! (Zero G)

Space Bake

Posted: September 3, 2019

Later this year, hotel officials will launch their famous cookies into space . . . plus an oven to cook them in.

Imagine living far above Earth on the International Space Station. What would make those space-tacular views even better? Ah, yes—a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie would do it, especially if you were feeling homesick for solid ground! Astronaut food is often freeze-dried. It does give space travelers the nutrition they need. But God made food for more than feeding our bodies. It’s meant to nourish our souls and minds too.

The hotel with the space cookies isn’t alone in working on better food for astronauts. Workers at the German company Bake in Space want to make fresh bread onboard the International Space Station. But they are working backwards. First, they want to prove they can bake crumb-free food in their space ovens. (Why can’t space food have crumbs? Crumbs float around in zero-gravity. Talk about tough to clean up! They could get stuck in million dollar space equipment and ruin it. Or astronauts could accidentally breathe them in. Right now, astronauts use tortillas instead of bread. Tortillas last for a long time, and they don’t make crumbs.) Next, they want to prove they have the tech to knead bread dough in space. After that, they want to show that they can grind grain into flour. Then they’ll get back to the very beginning of bread making. They’ll grow and harvest grain without gravity!

Here’s how the scientists got their idea for space bread. Sebastian Marcu is founder and CEO of Bake in Space. He started thinking about Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut. Germans love their bread. “Bread is a big topic in Germany,” Mr. Marcu tells Space.com. “We have 3,200 variations of bread, with a bakery pretty much on every street corner.” Should Mr. Gerst have to survive six months in space with only NASA-approved tortillas? Mr. Marcu didn’t think so!