Cookies baked in space and ‘mighty’ mice return to Earth via SpaceX

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – The first batch of space-baked cookies are back on Earth, along with muscular “power” mice and other space station experiments.

SpaceX ensured the return home on Tuesday, a month after its Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station. The capsule was parachuted into the Pacific, bringing in 3,800 pounds of material.

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Researchers want to inspect the handful of chocolate chip cookies baked by astronauts in a special Zero G oven just in time for Christmas. The oven was launched to the space station in November, so astronauts could put pre-made cookie dough provided by DoubleTree in it. A spokesperson for the hotel chain said five cookies were baked there, one at a time. The company plans to share details of this one-of-a-kind experience in the coming weeks.

In this photo made available by US astronaut Christina Koch via Twitter on December 26, 2019, she and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano pose for a photo with a baked cookie on the International Space Station. (NASA via AP)

“We made space cookies and milk for Santa this year,” tweeted NASA astronaut Christina Koch late last month from the space station, posing with one of the individually wrapped cookies.

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Scientists are also recovering 40 mice that flew in early December, eight of which were genetically modified to have twice the normal muscle mass. Some of the non-powerful mice inflated in orbit for muscle study; others will wrap it up when they get back to the lab.

“We can’t wait to welcome the mice home! Dr. Se-Jin Lee of the Jackson Laboratory in Connecticut said in an email.

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