A team of pie-loving Brits has just sent a meat and potato variant of the delicacy into space.
The feat is thought to be a world first, though that can be put down to the fact that no one had had the idea to do it before rather than it being some kind of major breakthrough in food-based space exploits.
The record-breaking pie was sent skyward on a weather balloon, with an attached camera recording every moment of its exciting ascent.
Part wacky stunt to raise awareness of this week’s World Pie Eating Championships in Wigan, and part tongue-in-cheek experiment to see if altitude affects a pie’s molecular structure in a way that makes it easier to swallow and digest, the pie’s maker, Bill Kenyon, told the BBC the mission was “the first step to enable mankind to consume pies with more elegance and comfort,” adding that “neither the sky, nor the pie, should be the limit.”
Kenyon said the pie’s structural integrity would be pushed to the limit during its mission, one that would see it freeze on its ascent and then cooked as it hit “massive speeds” on re-entry.
Before the daring experiment could proceed, a team of space enthusiasts from SentIntoSpace had to get clearance from the CAA, the U.K.’s equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration. The special kit was also fitted with a radar reflector to ensure nearby aircraft could keep track of the pie’s precise position. Because the last thing you want to fly into at 36,000 feet is a meat and potato pie. Or another plane, of course.
The weather balloon, together with its tasty payload, floated to an altitude of about 100,000 feet (about 19 miles), capturing some spectacular video along the way. A short while later it returned to Earth with a bump in a field full of sheep. The scientists managed to retrieve the pie before the sheep had a chance to feast upon it, though missing crusts suggested some of the woolly creatures may have stolen a nibble.
The team is now analyzing its gathered data, and possibly devouring the delicacy, to determine if pies from space are easier to eat than those that stay permanently on terra firma. We suggest you check its twitter feed if you’re interested in the results.