Tue, Sep 18, 2012
Baltic Pizza Chain Sends A Pie To The Fringe Of Space
Well ... pizza can now be added to the list of things that have been sent to the upper fringes of the Earth's atmosphere. Cili, one of the oldest pizza chains in the Baltic, has sent a pizza to over 108,000 feet ... into the upper levels of the atmosphere ... using a special balloon. The flight set a record for the highest an object has been sent from Lithuania. The journey – which ranged from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to the frost at the edge of near-Earth space - was captured by video cameras. The pie was a "Hawaii" pizza, which had been chosen by Cili’s customers.
It was the search for challenge that encouraged Lithuanians to make this strange astronomy project happen.
The pizza’s incredible voyage involved meticulous planning with the Lithuanian Airspace Control Center, which used a phone to keep track of the pizza’s position. With only a 20-minute slot for the record attempt, the center closely monitored the flight to ensure that planes kept out of its path.
As planned, the balloon burst at three times the height at which planes fly after a two-hour ascent. The exact height that the pizza reached is unknown because the signal disappeared at about 108,000 feet above the Earth. After it fell back to ground, a team spent a couple of hours searching in a wooded area for the pizza before finding it hanging from a tree. Despite the trip to the edge of space, it appeared to be none the worse for the journey, if perhaps no longer hot and fresh.
The cameras captured some stunning views of the Earth from its record-setting altitude, which can be clearly seen in the video.
The successful record attempt coincided with the opening of the world’s first pizza museum in Philadelphia, PA. The Lithuanian achievement will be shared with the museum along with a video from material captured by the cameras that accompanied the pizza on its journey into space.
(Image provided by Cili)
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