DoubleTree by Hilton made history when its signature, warm chocolate chip cookie became the first-ever food baked in space, in experiments designed to make long-duration space travel more welcoming and hospitable. Now, the famous chocolate chip cookie baked aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has landed at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

The first-of-its kind experiment in 2019 marked Hilton as the first hospitality company to participate in research aboard the ISS. DoubleTree by Hilton partnered with Zero G Kitchen, creator of appliances for microgravity use in long-duration space flights, and Nanoracks (now part of Voyager Space), a global leader in commercial space exploration to help develop an oven suitable for space travel. After several days of experimentation, the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie earned its distinctive place in space history.

In 2020, the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie returned from orbit for testing by food scientists. The cookie’s journey continued after returning to Earth, as it made its way from the Johnson Space Center to Virginia before finding its new home in an air-tight exhibition box at the National Air and Space Museum.

“We are thrilled to display DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookie as the first-ever food baked in space by astronauts,” says 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.”

Shawn McAteer, brand leader, DoubleTree by Hilton, notes 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 says. “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 space-traveling cookie is currently on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center, located at 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, in Fairfax County Virginia. It will become part of a new exhibit, At Home in Space, anticipated to open at the museum’s new building in Washington, DC in 2026.