This 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.
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.”
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?
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