A team of British scientists have sent the first ever pie launched into the upper stratosphere.
The goal was to see if the potato pastry’s molecular structure is altered by its journey above the Earth find out how well it would be cooked by the friction from re-entry.
The pie was launched on Thursday morning, tethered to a helium-filled weather balloon and a camera rig to real-time images of its pie-oneering ascent. Mission control was a pub called Fifteens at the Fox near the town of Wigan, and the whole experiment was planned by the Sheffield-based hobby group SentIntoSpace, which specialises in near-space launches.
The pie, which was specially made by a shop called Ultimate Purveyors in St Helens, was launched to promote the World Pie Eating Championship, which will be held in Wigan on Tuesday.
The trip of the pie required permission from the Civil Aviation Authority and took around two hours, eventually touching down 38 miles from its launch site, near the Forest of Bowland. Organisers have yet to release their analysis of the pie’s post-landing consistency. It is thought the pie will freeze on its ascent and will be cooked as it reaches “massive speeds” on re-entry.
Space enthusiasts from Sheffield-based SentIntoSpace have attached a camera and tracking equipment to the weather balloon and will analyse the data and edit video of its journey.
Bill Kenyon of Ultimate Purveyors from St Helens, who were commissioned to make the pie, said: ‘This is the first step to enable mankind to consume pies with more elegance and comfort.‘
The World Pie Eating Championships 2016 is to be held at Harry’s Bar, Wallgate Wigan, on 20 December.