Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 17:54 UK

Earth landing for 'space cheese'


One giant leap for cheese

A block of cheese launched into the upper atmosphere on Tuesday has been found undamaged in Buckinghamshire.

The "interstellar cheddar" landed in Cressex - some 74 miles away - and was taken to High Wycombe police station on Wednesday night, the launch team said.

The wedge was still in one piece but the flight-recording camera had failed.

The helium pod's GPS system broke down soon after its launch to mark the Moon landing anniversary so the West Country Cheesemakers team lost track of it.

It was found in a garden and handed in to the police, the group said.

It had been attached to a weather balloon which was launched from Wiltshire 18.6 miles (30km) into the atmosphere.

I may try a bit to see if it has matured at high altitude
Dom Lane

The helium balloon carrying the payload had burst, indicating it had reached a considerable height in the upper atmosphere.

Dom Lane, of Shepton Mallet's West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group told BBC News: "I am driving back from High Wycombe with the cheese now.

"I may try a bit to see if it has matured at high altitude and then it will probably go into a glass case at our production offices."

He said the police were very helpful and highly amused at the whole operation.

Mr Lane said he had given the police a selection of farmhouse Cheddars to pass on to the anonymous woman who found the errant cheese.

"The whole exercise was a nice way to wave the flag for authentic Cheddar," he said.

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