A Wigan businessman could be set for a new career as a “gastronaut” after successfully launching a meat and potato pie into space.
Tony Callaghan sent one of the region’s favourite snacks into the atmosphere in a publicity stunt promoting the latest World Pie Eating Championships.
And the pictures it sent from its camera as it reached a height of 29.9km are truly spectacular.
The pie froze solid in outerspace and when the balloon finally burst and it descended back to earth in the Forest of Bowland village of Bentham it bounced!
Although a far cry from Houston, the launch pad at Fifteens At The Fox in Roby Mill still had an element of tension as well as frivolity about it.
Dozens of onlookers had a moment to savour as they watched the meat and potato pastry successfully ascend and disappear into the Wigan sky attached to a meteorological balloon.
People have been so excited that we’re sending a pie into space. It’s fantastic, it’s absolutely awesome to be doing itTony Callaghan
Tony, the pie championships’ organiser, declared himself delighted.
Before the launch he said: “It’s a world first for Wigan.
“People have been so excited that we’re sending a pie into space. It’s fantastic, it’s absolutely awesome to be doing it.”
The stunt was conducted by high altitude imaging company Sent Into Space and, using specialist equipment, the pie-oneering mission captured the journey on cameras attached to the payload box.
And after the “meateor” hurtled back to earth at around 100mph it was quickly retrieved and the film footage examined.
Tony said: “The images are breath-taking. You see the pie take off, leaving us all behind and going up through the clouds until it is in outer space. You get darkness, the sun and the curvature of the earth all in crystal clear definition.
“The balloon then bursts but you don’t hear anything because it’s in a vacuum and it falls back down to earth.”
Organisers needed clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority for the mission.
Alex Keen from Sent Into Space said a pie is the latest in a long line of weird objects they have been asked to send up. “We sent the new Metallica album into space a few weeks ago. And last year we sent some Belgian fries up. This pie looks more delicious than that, I must say.”
The World Championships are at Harry’s Bar in Wallgate on Tuesday, December 20 at pie-noon.
Read all about the daring mission here
Watch our Facebook live videos of the launch here
Aliens issue warning! Read it here