Solving Space: Cooking in Space

This summer, we are exploring how we push human extremes in order to survive and thrive in the harsh environments of space. What could be more extreme than cooking in zero gravity?

Could you imagine preparing dinner weightless?

Cooking can be a daunting task on Earth. So, just imagine the added challenges astronauts face when it comes time to prepare a meal in space!

Most of what cooking in space involves is rehydrating and heating the thermostabilized and freeze-dried food and beverages that have been sent up to the station.

While it might sound like cooking is easy in zero gravity (just add water!), imagine how much more difficult preparing a nice warm meal would be if your utensils, plates, and even your food and beverage would not stay where you put it! Here on Earth, gravity helps us out a lot in the kitchen. Without it, things become a bit more challenging.

However, as many astronauts will attest, despite its unique challenges, eating in space can be a lot of fun!

Watch NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan demonstrate how they prepare a meal in the extreme weightless environment of space in the following NASA clip which was shared by Space.com.

However, astronauts aren’t just cooking up meals on the International Space Station (ISS). Now, they’re also baking!

Of course, the first baked good in space had to be a classic – the chocolate chip cookie.

In Dec. 2019, just in time for the holidays, NASA astronaut Christina Koch and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano baked Double Tree by Hilton chocolate chip cookies on station, making it the first fresh food to be baked in zero gravity (see below)!

Milestones like the baking of the first chocolate chip cookie in space, are important as NASA moves toward longer duration spaceflight missions where astronauts will need to be able to cook and bake more meals as they live and work on worlds beyond our own.

Who knows? Maybe the next astronauts to set foot on the Moon will enjoy a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie in their spacecraft on the lunar surface!

Want to read more about space food and how it is prepared in zero gravity? Click here.

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