Pizza Hut Was Once Delivered To Space

It was a different time in 2001. Gas cost $1.49 a gallon, Wikipedia was new, and Ocean's 11 was a hot new film (via The People History). It was also a time where some lucky Russian cosmonauts got a favorite treat in outer space: Pizza Hut (via Space Ref). In a pizza first, and also probably a pizza last, the pie-makers at Pizza Hut sent a custom-made 6-inch personal salami pizza to the International Space Station (ISS)

Randy Gier shared on behalf of the pizza giant: "As a leader in the pizza delivery business, we're determined to give customers what they want, when they want it and where they want it, even if they are in space. Wherever there is life, there will be Pizza Hut pizza," said Gier. "After checking and re-checking the address, we made a few minor route adjustments to ensure that the pizza would successfully make it to the ISS. If space tourism is going to be a reality, Pizza Hut pizza will make the trip even better."

Considering our recent initiation of a U.S. Space Force (via BBC), it turns out Gier may have been on to something after all.

A world record delivery

Some fun things to know about the delivery are that the food was eaten by ISS resident Yuri Usachov. ABC News reported that U.S. rules prohibited our own astronauts from participation due to policies against advertisements on spaceships. The pizza size was tweaked to fit in the space station ovens. Salami was the topping of the day, for reasons of longevity — turns out pepperoni does go bad — and the crew added salt because foods tastes different in space. The entire works cost Pizza Hut over $1 million, but the marketing stunt remains a one-of-a-kind.

And did you know that this outer space delivery doesn't even hold the record for the world's longest pizza delivery? The official record for "Longest Pizza Delivery" is recorded from Wellington, New Zealand from Opera Pizza, Madrid, Spain, a distance of 19,870 km (12,346.6 miles) in 2006 (via Guinness World Records). Other fun pizza records include the highest altitude pizza delivery on land (5,897 meters, or 19,347 feet), the largest pizza (boasting a total surface area of 1,261.65 square meters, or 13,580.28 square feet), and the most expensive pizza commercially available, which costs £2,106.53 — about $2,700.