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Pint of beer set for lift-off into space

Chris Smith (left) and Sammy Graham from European Astrotech, with Pete and Ros Bangs (right), tenants of The White Swan, Whitchurch

Chris Smith (left) and Sammy Graham from European Astrotech, with Pete and Ros Bangs (right), tenants of The White Swan, Whitchurch

A pint of beer is venturing where no other pint has gone before - into space.

The glass of London Pride will be placed in a balloon and launched 40km into the earth’s stratosphere from outside The White Swan.

The mission has been made possible thanks to Chris Smith, managing director of European Astrotech, who is a regular at the pub in Whitchurch.

Chris said: “It all started when I was telling Pete and Ros (tenants at the pub) about what I did for a living.

“They were joking with me about sending a pint of beer up into space.

“I went away and thought more seriously about it and thought well why not.”

Chris explained that a couple of test runs had taken place and that they were ready for today’s (Saturday’s) lift-off.

He said: “I am expecting the beer to boil and possibly explode on the way up.

“This should make for thrilling watching down on earth when we retrieve the on-board cameras.”

A camera will be fitted to the side of the balloon, which can also be tracked as it undertakes its journey.

Its position, altitude and rate of ascent and descent will be available to follow in real-time on a map displayed on a monitor in the pub.

Landlady Ros Bangs said she was eagerly anticipating the balloon launch.

She said: “This is something very exciting and completely different for all of us.

“I hope the balloon at least gets up to 40km!”

Various activities and entertainment will take place on the day alongside the launch, including a barbecue, tug-of-war, cornhole competition and live music.

Ros added she was also planning to put some of her homemade crackling in the balloon.

She said: “I have specially prepared a lot of crackling, which I am calling space crackling.

“I am going to put some crackling into the balloon.”

The launch is set to take place outside the pub at noon subject to weather and atmospheric conditions.

 

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