SpaceX's 'secret' payload? A wheel of cheese

Dec 12, 2010 By W.J. Hennigan

In the historic launch of its Dragon space capsule Wednesday, Hawthorne, Calif.,-based rocket venture SpaceX didn't carry astronauts or cargo into outer space.

But it did transport a wheel of LeBrouere cheese.

The company, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., revealed Thursday that it lifted a "secret" payload into low Earth orbit aboard its cone-shaped Dragon spacecraft.

said the choice was a nod to the British comedy troupe Monty Python and its famous Cheese Shop skit.

In a news conference after Wednesday's launch, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk refused to say what the secret was, fearing that the joke would overshadow the momentous feat in the next day's headlines.

The launch from , Fla., marked the first time that a private company has developed and lifted a into orbit and have it survive a fiery re-entry.

In a half-century of spaceflight only five countries and one intergovernmental agency have been able to launch a spacecraft into orbit and have it successfully re-enter the Earth's atmosphere: the U.S., the Soviet Union/Russia, China, Japan, India and the European Space Agency.

It also may have been the first spaceflight of cheese. The record books don't say.

Explore further: Image: NASA's SDO observes a lunar transit

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lengould100
not rated yet Dec 12, 2010
Excellent. Albatross!!!
ElectricBuddha
not rated yet Dec 13, 2010
Which makes it the worlds first space aged cheese as it were
Husky
not rated yet Dec 13, 2010
In Holland we have the Edammer Cheese wich is shaped and legend has it, has been used as cannonballs during a siege, it wont be long before SpaceX will come up with their own cheesy Star Wars plan to knock out satellites with vacume hole cheese