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

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.


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Citation: SpaceX's 'secret' payload? A wheel of cheese (2010, December 12) retrieved 24 January 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2010-12-spacex-secret-payload-wheel-cheese.html
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