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DoubleTree’s Space Cookie Heads to Washington, D.C.

The iconic space-made chocolate chip cookie will find a new home within the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s coming-soon exhibit in 2026

By Linden M. Bayliss

Back in 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton took part in an intriguing experiment—creating the first baked food in space by baking its signature chocolate chip cookies at zero gravity, one of which is available for all to see. Currently on display in an air-tight package at the National Air and Space Museum’s alternate location, Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, the cookie will soon be moved to a new exhibit at the museum’s flagship spot in Washington, D.C.

The DoubleTree’s chocolate chip cookie sealed up at the International Space Station || Courtesy of Hilton

The baking experiment was part of many conducted with the goal of making long-duration space travel more welcoming and hospitable for astronauts. DoubleTree partnered with Zero G Kitchen, a creator of appliances specifically intended for microgravity use on space flights, and Nanoracks (now part of Voyager Space Holdings Inc.), an in-space services company which builds space hardware and tools, to develop an oven that could bake in space. After much experimentation, the famous space cookie was created among others at the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit in November 2019.

The cookie did a bit of traveling once it returned to Earth, first going to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, then to its current home in Virginia at the Udvar-Hazy Center. “We are thrilled to display DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookie as the first-ever food baked in space by astronauts,” says Jennifer K. Levasseur, a curator at the National Air and Space Museum who has a doctorate in history, in a prepared statement. “Innovations like baking could make 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.”

Hilton is the first hospitality company to have participated in research aboard the ISS. “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,” says Shawn McAteer, brand leader at DoubleTree by Hilton. “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.”

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. || Courtesy of National Air and Space Museum

It will become part of a new exhibit, “At Home in Space,” anticipated to open at the museum’s location in Washington, D.C., in 2026. Planners can book event space at the museum or schedule a time to bring in attendees for a group tour. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington D.C.–Crystal City is just 3 miles from the museum and offers many event space options, as well as (edible) chocolate chip cookies.