The hotel chain partnered with two technology companies to test the viability of a new oven ‘designed to make long-duration space travel more hospitable.’
Zero G Kitchens develops kitchen equipment to make cooking a reality in space and developed the small oven that will bake DoubleTree’s cookies.
Co-founder and co-chef Ian Fichtenbaum – who runs Zero G with his wife, Joana – said the ISS still has “limited availability to prepare foods in the way that we’re used to,” yet baking in space remains difficult due, naturally, to the lack of gravity.
“Opening up the frontier of space means making it relatable to people’s everyday lives, and what could be more relatable than a freshly baked cookie?” said Fichtenbaum.
“When we first concepted the oven, we naturally thought of DoubleTree by Hilton and its signature cookie. It is the perfect treat to bring a warm welcome to space.”
The New York-based manufacturer teamed up with NanoRacks, a 10-year-old company in Texas that builds products for space shuttles and stations.
Hilton might seem like the only new ‘space’ player in this trio of companies, but the hotel actually pioneered the possibility of a ‘Lunar Hotel’ in 1958 at ‘the height of the space race,’ according to Shawn McAteer, DoubleTree by Hilton’s senior VP.
“Hilton has long been an industry innovator and, as we celebrate our 100th year, we’re excited to send our hospitality into orbit,” said McAteer.
“The simple gesture of a warm cookie welcome is a favorite of DoubleTree guests around the world and now we are sharing that moment of hospitality as part of this experiment aboard the International Space Station.”
In addition to this ‘landmark microgravity experiment,’ DoubleTree will join Scholastic, the book and education company, to develop a teaching module to bring hospitality to space. It hopes to reach 50k middle school classrooms across the US this year.
That plan plays a role in parent company Hilton’s ‘Open Doors Pledge’ to ‘connect, prepare or employ’ at least one million young people by the end of 2019.