SpaceX Dragon Takes Cheese into Space
After SpaceX Dragon's successful docking at the International Space Station on Friday, it bears remembering that back in 2010 this spacecraft toted a special piece of cargo into space and back again, on a voyage that made history. The cargo made the news, too. Here's the story, circa 2010:
Before the successful launch, voyage, and recovery of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, the first time in history a commercial company has recovered a spacecraft from orbit, reporters were buzzing with news of a ‘secret’payload’ stowed on board,” SpaceX announced in a statement.
“It was a payload so secret, SpaceXers made it Top Secret (think Val Kilmer 1984, not official US Government),” the company said.
“So what was inside the mystery package? Their tribute to Monty Python. A wheel of cheese.”
Now, On space.com this cheesy fact lives on in a list of fun facts about SpaceX Dragon:
On the Dragon capsule's first test flight in December 2010, it carried a wheel of cheese into orbit. Prior to the successful liftoff, SpaceX officials hinted that Dragon was carrying special cargo into space, but the company did not reveal the secret payload until after the spacecraft had returned from orbit and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
The wheel of cheese was launched in honor of a classic skit from actor John Cleese in the British comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus.
"It's kind of funny," Musk told reporters after the successful launch in 2010. "If you like Monty Python, you'll love the secret."
We want to know if the cheese is still on board! If so, we wonder how it's held up after all this traveling.