A space-baked cookie lands at the National Air and Space Museum

DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookie baked in space

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has publicly debuted a unique new item in its collection—a DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookie baked aboard the International Space Station in 2019.

The experiment to bake the cookie on the ISS aimed to test cooking in zero gravity. It was part of a broader effort to make space travel more comfortable by introducing familiar earth-like comforts, such as freshly baked cookies. DoubleTree by Hilton, known for offering chocolate chip cookies to their guests, contributed their signature cookie to this space experiment.

After the cookie successfully returned to earth in 2020, it was donated to the National Air and Space Museum, which maintains the world’s largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts. The museum decided to display the cookie now to highlight the intersection of space innovation and everyday life.

“We are thrilled to display DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookie as the first-ever food baked in space by astronauts,” said Dr. Jennifer K. Levasseur, museum curator, Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum. “Innovations like baking could make even longer-duration missions in space much more enjoyable and sustainable, so DoubleTree’s historic space cookie is a natural choice to represent this development in the Udvar-Hazy Center’s display of space food.”

ISS Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and NASA astronaut Christina Koch

Sending DoubleTree hospitality into orbit was fitting, said Shawn McAteer, brand leader, DoubleTree by Hilton, who noted that Hilton has a long history of interest in space travel, with Barron Hilton even announcing plans for the Lunar Hilton, a hotel on the moon during the height of the Space Race.  

“Hospitality and innovation are two strands of Hilton’s DNA, and we are beyond honored to be the first hospitality company involved in historic research aboard the International Space Station and to now have the DoubleTree cookie on display in the Smithsonian,” McAteer said. “When people hear the DoubleTree cookie was the first item successfully baked in outer space, we hope they not only celebrate the experiment but get an understanding that DoubleTree is deeply committed to providing warm and caring service, all starting with our signature welcome and iconic chocolate chip cookie.”  

In 2026, the cookie will become part of a planned exhibit titled At Home in Space at the museum’s newly renovated building on the National Mall.

Travelers can sample an original, warm DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie or a DoubleTree allergy-friendly chocolate chip cookie at all U.S. DoubleTree by Hilton locations, including when staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sterling – Dulles Airport, less than 15 minutes from the museum. The cookies can also be purchased online and made at home.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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