The story behind the first batch of cookies in space and the first zero-gravity oven

The Zero G Kitchen space oven and a tin of DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookies were sent up to the International Space Station.

(CNN)It's science rule #1: Don't eat your experiments.

Typically, this is good advice, but for the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, tasked with baking the first batch of cookies in space, it may be tough to follow.
    And understandably so. For the last year and a half, husband and wife duo Ian and Jordana Fichtenbaum, founders of Zero G Kitchen, have been developing the first zero-gravity oven that could revolutionize space food and bring a taste of home to astronauts who dearly miss it. Last week, the oven arrived at the space station. No date has yet been announced for it to be tested.
      The Fichtenbaums' mission is both simple and highly technical: "We want to build a kitchen in space, one piece at a time, and partner with companies, educators and researchers all along the way," said Ian Fichtenbaum.
      They decided to start with an oven -- the centerpiece of the kitchen -- and joined forces with Nanoracks, the leading provider of commercial access to space, and DoubleTree by Hilton, the leading provider of gooey chocolate chip cookies to hotel guests, to send hospitality and innovation to the space station.
      Designing an oven capable of baking space cookies is no easy feat. Everyday tasks are more difficult in space, which lacks the force of gravity to keep objects from floating around -- and baking presents its own unique challenges. Traditional convection ovens function by utilizing gravitational properties; "the hot air rises, the cool air falls," explained Abby Dickes, Nanoracks' marketing director.
      Then there's the challenge of keeping food secure and stationary while it bakes. To complicate things further, the oven must run on a limited power supply, so as not to blow a fuse on the space station.
      But the zero-gravity oven was designed to circumvent these issues. It's composed of a sleek, cylindrical chamber that houses an insertable silicone frame, which surrounds the food to hold it in place. Cylindrical heating coils focus the heat on the food in the center of the chamber and rise to temperature much more slowly than traditional ovens, to accommodate the power constraints.