A NASA astronaut's assignment to fly around the moon has already given launch to a tasty treat.
Good Dough, a bakery in Galveston, Texas, has created the "Koch it to the Moon" kolache inspired by Artemis 2 mission specialist Christina Koch (pronounced "Cook"). The chocolate-flavored pastry is being offered as a special for the month of August while Koch continues her training to become the first woman to fly to the moon (her launch is targeted for as soon as November of next year).
"Christina has been a regular customer of ours, so we decided to do something to honor her," Chef Mary Bass, the owner of Good Dough, said in an interview with collectSPACE.com. "We're down here in Galveston; she lives here on the island and she comes in regularly and supports us. We just thought it would be kind of cool."
In addition to being moon-bound, Koch holds the current record for the single longest space mission by a woman at 328 days and, in 2019 at the International Space Station, she was one-half of the first all-female spacewalk.
"We're an all-female bake-staff and owner, so we're promoting there are strong females out there that are doing really cool stuff, and one of them just happens to be an astronaut," said Bass.
According to the Good Dough Instagram feed, the "Koch it to the Moon" kolache is made of "brownie batter good good mixed with Milky Way pieces."
"'Good good' is the caramel cream cheese we put in as the base of our kolaches," said Bass. "We make traditional Czech kolaches, but we do them with a funky twist. So all of our dough, it tastes like a traditional Czech kolache, which are the sweet ones, but our mixes are always a little crazy."
"This kolache adds brownie batter to the caramel cream cheese used in the base, and then the chocolate goes on top of that," she said.
Milky Way candy, the chocolate-covered caramel and nougat bars made by Mars, Inc., was the obvious choice to connect the kolache to Koch.
"Nothing better than the Milky Way since, you know, she's out there," said Bass.
As for Koch, she knew Good Dough was planning to honor her, but did not know exactly how until she made one of her regular stops into the shop.
"We didn't even know she was going to come in!" Bass told collectSPACE. "And she came in wearing her [NASA flight] suit and it was awesome. She surprised my staff and took pictures with them, so that was really cool."
The "Koch it to the Moon" kolache is made fresh daily and will be available throughout the rest of the month. They are not available to ship ("It's like manna from heaven, you have to eat it," said Bass) but could return later as Koch gets closer to launching or by special order.
And who knows? Maybe someday a kolache will fly to the moon. Although NASA has yet to say if the Artemis 2 crew (who, in addition to Koch includes commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialist Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency) will be able to request special foods for their menus, there is a precedent for such on the space station.
"We had a whole conversation about this," said Bass. "We were trying to figure out how to properly vacuum-seal a kolache such that it could go to the moon. We thought it would be pretty cool to send a Milky Way to the moon. That would be hilarious."
Good Dough, located at 1510 39th Street in Galveston, is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-ish to 6 p.m.-ish and weekends from 6 a.m.-ish to 12 p.m.-ish.