Hungry Amateur Astronomer Sends Garlic Bread To the Edge of Space, Then Eats It

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 - 8:43PM
Space
Weird Science
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 - 8:43PM
Hungry Amateur Astronomer Sends Garlic Bread To the Edge of Space, Then Eats It
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YouTube/Tom Scott
Have you ever wondered what garlic bread tastes like after being launched into the Earth's stratosphere? No?

Either way, a YouTube personality named Tom Scott set out to find the answer, by launching half a loaf of garlic bread up to the edge of space on a balloon so he could eat some after it landed. The other half of the garlic bread was kept on Earth's surface as a control group for the eventual taste test, because this is some hard science, after all. 

Perhaps "hard science" isn't the best way to describe it, but it's impressive regardless. Scott, with help from Steve Randall of Random Engineering to provide the specialized high-altitude balloon, and also from Barry Lewis of the My Virgin Kitchen channel to provide the garlic bread, launched his lunch as high as 22.2 miles (35.7 kilometers) into the sky. 

See the whole thing below:



As Scott notes in the video, he didn't actually send it into space, which is why he keeps using the phrase "edge of space." The spot where Earth's atmosphere ends and space begins is typically said to be the Kármán line about 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth's surface, so this bread only made it a third of the way there.

His goal was partly to poke fun at the other companies and news media who've pulled similar stunts (food like pizza and wedding cakes have also been launched on balloons), but in those cases, they'll sometimes claim that the cargo is actually going into space when it's not. And they also never seem to actually eat the food at the end, which makes you wonder what the whole point was.

As for why he chose garlic bread: it's delicious. And going off the taste test at the end, it's still delicious after being at such high altitudes - the middle of the bread froze during its skyward journey into the stratosphere at about 30.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.8 degrees Celsius), but it was otherwise intact.

So now you know: garlic bread which has entered and exited the Earth's atmosphere is a little stiff but still delicious. If someone ever asks, you now have an answer.

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