Men, women, dogs and monkeys have all been sent into the stratosphere since the dawn of the space age, but the most recent creature to take a trip out of our atmosphere is a true space pioneer.
For in a world first, a Tandoori lamb chop has been attached to a helium balloon and sent into the great beyond. The comestible cosmonaut was accompanied by a GoPro action camera, sent up to capture its entire trip into space.
Check out the video below to see the lamb chop’s journey.
Novelist Nikesh Shukla and artist Nick Hearne came up with the spicy spaceflight as a way of promoting Shulka’s book Meatspace.
Writing for the Vice website, Shulka said the idea came to them while waiting for roast dinners at Hackney City Farm.
“We had the idea. What could be more ridiculous than sending some actual meat into actual space? And how easy would it be?,” he said.
After getting permission from the Civil Aviation Authorities, they released the lamb chop - from Tayyab’s Punjabi restaurant in East London - into the air in the Cotswolds. They had the expectation it would burst 50 miles up, before floating back to earth where they could retrieve it using GPS information from the GoPro.
Hearne was contacted by a farmer who claimed to found the camera in Manston, Dorset, but after he failed to return it, the exasperated pair called the police and swiftly got the camera back.
When they finally looked at the footage captured by the GoPro they were stunned, as the camera – and its peppery payload – had climbed 25,000 metres into the stratosphere, high enough to see the curvature of the earth.
“When we saw the footage, it was unbelievable. Utterly unbelievable. We'd sent a Tayyab's lamb chop into space!” said Shukla.