The moment we have all been waiting for finally arrived Thursday: A KFC chicken sandwich launched to the stratosphere suspended under a giant space balloon.
The spaceflight company World View launched the Zinger chicken sandwich to its position 77,000 feet above the surface of the Earth at 9:11 a.m. ET on Thursday. A silly video narrated by current Colonel Sanders Rob Lowe honors the “historic” launch.
While the KFC sandwich launch is extremely goofy, it’s also important for World View.
This mission marks the first multi-day test of the company’s Stratollite system, which makes use of a large balloon that lofts its payload — in this case, the Zinger sandwich — up high above Earth.
Eventually, World View hopes that this space system can be used to take images of the Earth, and provide internet service and other applications to people around the globe thanks to its ability to stay up in the stratosphere for multiple days.
“We’re going to learn a lot about long-duration stratospheric flight, while at the same time developing and testing some core systems capabilities that we’ve never had before,” Jane Poynter, World View CEO, said in an email before launch.
“For example, this is the first time we’ll be testing our solar power system, which is the on-board, regenerative power system that will allow the Stratollite vehicle to ultimately fly for months at a time without interruption. We’re also developing and testing a real-time HD video downlink system, among other critical systems improvements.”
For its part, KFC will keep an eye on the Zinger sandwich in its bucket-shaped container for the duration of its expect four-day flight. The company is expected to beam back photos of the sandwich during its flight in the stratosphere.
So for now, just keep an eye out for updates from the Zinger through KFC’s space website.