The Weird Reason A Chicken Nugget Was Launched Into Space

Ever since the Space Race marked the beginning of humanity's ability for intergalactic exploration, we've sent humans, dogs, satellites, chimpanzees, and even pizza into space (via Just last week, humanity crossed another milestone in strange space travel when the British supermarket chain Iceland launched a chicken nugget into the void on October 13th, according to Food and Wine. The frozen snack is one of Iceland's most popular items, and they decided it seemed only fitting to use one of their bestsellers to help them celebrate an important milestone of their own — the UK based grocery chain turned 50 this year.

According to Iceland's trading director Andrew Staniland, "2020 is a huge year for us as we celebrate our 50th birthday, and we wanted to find ways to mark the occasion, just like anyone celebrating a birthday in lockdown. What better way to show that our products are out of this world than by sending one of our customer favourites into space," per Irish News.

The chicken nugget spent an hour in Near Space

Irish News reports the chicken nugget was launched from a site near Iceland's head office in Deeside, North Wales. According to CNN, the nugget travelled 20.7 miles though the Earth's atmosphere using a gas-filled weather balloon until reaching its peak altitude in the region known as Near Space. This is the area that separates the Earth's atmosphere from Outer Space, per marketing company Sent Into Space.

Iceland's chicken nugget floated up to and around in Near Space for about an hour, enduring freezing temperatures as low as -65 degrees Celsius. Irish News states the nugget then descended at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour before a parachute was deployed at 62,000 feet which carried the nugget safely to the ground. The launch was organized in partnership with Sent Into Space, a marketing company that specializes in space-themed publicity events and campaigns, according to their company website.