Beer sent into space | Medavia

Beer sent into space

London Pride in space

Astro-pub! A beer-loving boffin launched a glass of ale into space from his favourite pub.

The tipple was attached to a balloon and launched from the beer garden of the White Swan in Aylesbury before it reached the stratosphere more than 24 kilometres above the Earth, where it froze.

The stellar idea was dreamt up by egghead Chris Smith, the rocket scientist behind the mission.

When not working as a scientist at engineering consultancy European Astrotech, Mr Smith can be found propping up the bar in The White Swan.

Mr Smith said: “The idea for this unique mission came from a chat with the pub tenants, Pete and Ros, who jokingly asked if it would be possible.

“I’ve worked on many rocket launches for scientific and commercial programmes, but it was particularly exciting to send the first glass of London Pride into space.”

The miniature pint was sent up alongside a lego spaceman holding a sign saying: “One small step for man, one giant stride for London Pride.”

Ros Bangs, of The White Swan, said: “We were tired of seeing every village pub go ‘gastro’ – we decided to go ‘astro’ instead.

“Seeing as London Pride is our top seller, what could be better than celebrating our locals’ favourite tipple by sending it stratospheric?

“We are lucky that one of our regulars happens to be a rocket scientist. How many pubs can say that?”

The pub had previously attempted to launch an ale into space, but the pictures did not survived the trip.

The beer, attached to a 200 gram helium-filled balloon, was at an altitude of 79,000 feet at its apex – more than twice the height reached by commercial airliners.

But the astronomical achievement still did not match the feat of American Felix Baumgartner, who in 2012 became the world record holder for completing the highest skydive ever, from an altitude of more than 39 kilometres.

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or


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