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[i]Popularity skyrocketed after their development last spring, much to the surprise, delight and frustration of creator Ted Farnworth. He concocted them on short notice, making enough for Canadian astronaut Dave Williams to take one package for each member of August's mission to the International Space Station on the shuttle Endeavour.
Demand has since overwhelmed the research group created to produce healthy foods for space travellers, under an agreement made two years ago between the space agency and Agriculture Canada.
A news conference held right after Williams ate his cookies in space led to requests from the agriculture department and the Prime Minister's Office to taste the treats. When 10,000 more were sought for a public launch at the winter fair, Farnworth drew the line, though he was able to supply some samples.
"We didn't know this was going to happen," he says. "We didn't get into the cookie business. This was a research project. They are being made individually by hand, one at a time, so it's really labour-intensive. I had to take two people off my research project last week to make cookies."[/i]
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