back to article Mission control reacquires UK space cheddar

The UK's ambitious space cheese mission was yesterday spared total humiliation when the 300g lump of Somerset farmhouse cheddar sent into the upper atmosphere was recovered from a garden in Buckinghamshire. The intact wedge of dairy produce came down in Cressex - 74 miles from its launch point in Pewsey, Wiltshire. It had been …


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  1. Admiral Grace Hopper


    The icon says it all.

  2. Martin 49

    It's Roswell all over again

    Radar Station: - "We've tracked a UFO, General. It seems to have crashed near Cressex."

    General: - "Roll out a cover story that it's a weather balloon and that it was *meant* to burst."

    Radar Station: - "We *can't* do that again! - People got very suspicious when it was tried at

    Roswell back in '49. Also, what about the alien body?"

    General: - "Hmm.... I know! - Tell them it's a lump of CHEESE !!"

  3. jake Silver badge


    I guess it'll be a few years before I get my Red Leicester, then.

    On the bright side, I guess we can all save money on telemetry ... Seems it's not needed.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    time to outsource?

    Following a review committee, no doubt the UK will now re-evaluate it's space programme (again) and decide to cancel future projects. Instead, it will buy excursions on a piece of Brie, launched from a secret facility in the Laungedoc region.

  5. Suburban Inmate

    I'm *so* proud to be British.

    The yanks can keep their alien autopsies, cloaking devices, and darklight drives... A few more goes at this and we'll be feeding titbits to The Clangers!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Brings a tear to the eye

    Makes you proud to be British

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Limited photographically....

    What about Black Knight, Blue Streak and to a degree Skylark?

  8. peter garner
    Thumb Up


    .. it was the wrong kind of cheese? Too dense, or perhaps a bit too prone to crumbling in cold conditions at high altitude? I would have though a haloumi-style wedge would have been better.

    Even so, a great step forward for Britain!

  9. Fluffykins Silver badge


    W T flying F

  10. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    UK Space Tech basically the only things that worked were the balloon and the parachute? Great job!

  11. Bilgepipe


    "...ground-based cheese trackers lost contact with the parachuting cheddar..."

    Shouldn't that be ground-based cheese crackers? I like those Hovis ones, myself.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Blessed are the cheesemakers

    for they shall inherit the Earth and I for one welcome our new diary product producing overlords and let those who dare oppose the Cheddar Master be struck down as in 'Stwike him, Centuwion. Stwike him vewy wuffly! '

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Another wonderful example of how succesful we Brits can be when we have all the resources our glorious nation can provide. I look forward to the day when we can get a broken camera, gps system and man up in a balloon proving once and for all we are not to be joked about!

  14. finnbarr

    Beagle 2 crash site?

    No it isn't.

    This crater was re-photographed later by HiRISE and revealed to be empty (

    So we still don't know where it went.

  15. Adam Salisbury

    Cheese Fan

    While I for one, would never bring the noble and magnificent Cheese into any kind disrepute you do have to ask what real, meaningful information of any kind be drawn from lobbing cheese in the upper atmosphere? Is this a spit in the face to cheese chasers across the land or are they demanding zero-g Stilton on the IIS?

    I find it hard to believe that while some of the scientific community are crying out over dwindling numbers of people pursuing science based jobs and careers others are seemingly making mockery of it fcuking about with cheese and model rockets, can't we aim higher than wasting food and pitching more space debris into orbit?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My god....'s full of cholesterol!

  17. Chris Harden

    Alien Cheese!

    Does no one watch SCI-FI anymore?? Don't eat the cheese! It may contain parasites or Aliens! It's a cheese based invasion!

    *runs to hide under a desk*

  18. AlgernonFlowers4

    @Cheese Fan

    So far the only recession proof business is the Pizza industry. If Britain can develop a space based delivery system whereby the pizza is cooked to perfection by the heat of re-entry and targetted to the recipients address via GPS co-ordinates launched from a helium balloon, just think of the carbon footprint reduction. No only would Britain save the planet from global warming, melting ice-caps etc but we would also have enough money from selling pizzas to build a Skylon Spaceplane! How could we possibly aim higher than that?

  19. Peter Mc Aulay

    Burst as planned

    18.6 is hardly "the edge of space", is it.

  20. Matthew Smith
    Thumb Up

    Good job!

    I've said this in the other post, that this is an achievement. The Beagle2 was lost probably because of the parachute deployment. So now, even when all else fails, the parachute tech remains solid. If you marry the Beagle to this new parachute uber-tech, we have progress. Well done to all.

  21. Mister Cheese

    Successful mission

    So the actual 'spacecraft' worked fine - and I'm guessing the other bits only failed when the batteries froze. We even managed a safe recovery of the payload. Top marks!

  22. duncanparsons

    I hope they try again

    As noted, the balloon and parachute worked, but as it goes, the cheese returned, and it quite possibly made it up to the height required.. Yes GPS failed and photo wasn't taken, but the whole thing cost less than a grand - I think they should try again: it'd be ace :-)

  23. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Paris Hilton

    I expect you to launch, Mr Bond,

    Eh, is it just me or does the Black Arrow look like Blofeld's rocket in "You Only Live Twice"

    Paris, she knows how to blofeld the trouser rocket

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous 09:15

    It sounds like the cheese might have worked too.

    Coat because it's a bit wet out

  25. Chris 67
    Thumb Up

    @ I expect you to launch, Mr Bond

    I usually hate the cheesy "paris" gags, but that one did make me laugh. I salute you sir.

  26. ThinkingOutLoud
    Paris Hilton

    @Alien Cheese!

    He's right. Once back from space, this cheese will be unlike any other. It will have seen things no other cheese saw before and may have had a spiritual experience.

    If space travel mind-f*cks ordinary humans, spare a thought for this cheese. It could have had a "Contact", like Jodie Foster in the movie. It could have passed an Event Horizon. The possibilities are endless.

    So, back to the point: DON'T EAT THE CHEESE!

    Paris because I feel the same way about her growler...

  27. Steve Evans

    Silly people...

    Of course it failed, you need some acid for the organic battery to work... Try sticking your copper and zinc electrodes into a lemon or a potato next time.

  28. Adam Salisbury
    Thumb Up

    @ AlgernonFlowers4

    I'd not thought of that!! I'll bet space-baked pizza tastes awesome :D

  29. Dave Bell

    A long way to go

    The Americans decided that the boundary between the atmosphere and space was 50 miles, apparently so that X-15 pilots could get Astronaut Wings, but then abandoned the idea of a formally defined boundary.

    The FAI uses 100km since above that altitude you need to fly faster than orbital velocity to get enough aerodynamic lift. The 100km figure is a bit approximate, but it's a nice round figure.

  30. Steve X

    GPS failed?

    Sounds like a well-known GPS receiver 'bug'. To avoid them being used in ICBMs, commercial GPS receivers are required to stop working if they are used above a certain altitude *AND* above a certain speed.

    Apparently a number of GPS chip manufacturers have incorrectly interpreted this requirement as above a certain altitude *OR* above a certain speed. This bites a lot of amateur balloon experimenters, whose systems suddenly fail at altitude, even though they're just pootling along at a few tens of MPH with the breeze.

    Our budding Wallace & Gromit team should probably try again after changing the GPS for one that's known to work at high altitude. Stick to the cheddar though, it would be a waste of good Wensleydale to do otherwise...

  31. Astarte

    Poor mouse

    The article didn't mention the story in 'Bad Mice Weekly' which explained that a starving mouse was killed by a piece of heavenly Cheddar which fell from ‘out of nowhere’. Apparently the victim's last words were 'Cheese, cheese, I must have cheese."

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They don't let on whose bucks it was found in.

  33. AB 1

    kgs or gs

    The cretin churnalists [sic] at reported it as 300kg of cheese, rather than 300g.

    Surely even a dim, half-pissed humanties graduate understand the difference between 300g and 300kg? I live in Cressex and I think I would have heard/smelled the later coming in to land...

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