SpaceX Reveals Secret Cargo on Its Orbital Test Flight: Space Cheese!

By Jennifer Welsh | December 10, 2010 11:45 am

space-cheeseThis top-secret space passenger doesn’t have the attributes often associated with astronauts–instead of being labeled brave and resolute, this passenger has been described as nutty, sweet, and buttery. Meet Le Brouere, a space-faring wheel of cheese.

The cheese in question was a passenger on SpaceX’s successful test of its Dragon crew capsule this week, a flight CNN describes as:

One small step for a cheese, one giant leap fromage-kind.

The mild French cheese Le Brouere isn’t the first of its kind to be blasted towards space, but it is the first to reach orbit and to be successfully recovered post-flight. The cheese orbited the Earth twice before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday. The test flight was the first ever orbital reentry and recovery mission by a commercial space company.

The cheese was chosen in reverent reference to sketch comedy troupe Monty Python, company spokeswoman Kirstin Brost told CNN:

The block of fermented curd was a nod to one of the group’s best-known sketches, “Cheese Shop.” The wheel, described only as “very big,” was being towed back to California aboard a barge along with the spacecraft and “basking in the glow of being the first cheese to travel to orbit on a commercial spacecraft.”

space-cheese-2The cheese was bolted to the floor of the capsule and covered with a sign warning any onlookers that the contents were “Top Secret!”

And if future space tourists are looking for something to wash down their space cheese with, they need look no further than a bottle of space beer, already on the market. Now, how do I get my hands on a chunk of that nutty-spacey goodness?

Related Content:
Discoblog: Cheesy News Roundup: The Steve Jobs Cheese Head and Breast Milk Cheese
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Behold the power of cheese-o-vision!
Discoblog: A Giant Leap for Cheddarkind: Brits Launch Cheese Into Space
Discoblog: The Nose Knows: Men’s Sweat Smells Like Cheese, Women’s Like Onions
80beats: SpaceX Blasts Its Dragon Space Capsule Into Orbit (UPDATE: Splashdown Success)
DISCOVER: The Biology of… Cheese

Image: SpaceX’s Facebook page, Chris Thompson

  • Georg

    First they wanted to
    fly some Limburger, but their law department
    warned this might looked at as a biological weapon.

  • Jim Fackert

    It’s a pity it wasn’t Wensleydale…. Wallace’s and Grommet’s favorite cheese.
    They actually flew the first cheese in space, though it came back from the moon, not just a few orbits around the earth. )))
    But SpaceX forgot the CRACKERS!!!!!!

    google “a grand day out”

  • Matt B.

    I don’t see how Le Brouere was chosen specifically based on the Monty Python sketch. I didn’t even notice it being mentioned in there. It really should have been Wensleydale, since that was the proprietor’s name, although what any of it has to do with shooting it into space, I don’t know.

  • Georg

    “although what any of it has to do with shooting it into space, I don’t know.”

    Like “Linie Aquavit” it can be sold a something special,
    Name” Space Cheese”.
    And: there was need for some ballast I think.

  • Aura

    Great to see the Monty Python skit! Who says rocket scientists don’t have a sense of humor?


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

See More

Collapse bottom bar