Aussie Scientists Launched A Meat Pie Into The Stratosphere, For Science

'Pie in the sky' became a reality last weekend, as a team of dedicated Australian scientists launched a meat pie into the stratosphere.

A group from the University of NSW managed to take a meat pie 28.3 kilometres into the sky, well into the stratosphere, and in the process claim what they say is a southern hemisphere pie altitude record.

Two high-altitude helium balloons carried the pastry skyward, but popped just shy of the 30 kilometre mark.

The balloons popping at 28 km (supplied)

It was part of the university's NewSpace FlashBuild event, held between November 7 and 11 in the Hunter Valley region town of Merriwa.

The weekend was meant to promote NSW's growing space industry, with teams designing and building the prototype to take the pie high into the sky.

“This was a fun event but with a serious purpose," said UNSW TechConnect entrepreneur in residence Alex Herlihy.

He told 10 daily teams had to plan, design, 3D-print and launch the pie craft in just three days. In addition to the pie, onboard the helium-lifted craft were satellites, video and communications equipment.

The idea of the weekend was to promote careers and study in Australia's fledgling space industry, and -- in Herlihy's words -- to show space jobs were no longer "pie in the sky".

“This is the first step in what we hope will lead to a future satellite launch in NSW," Herlihy said.

If you're wondering, the pie was a Garlo's brand. Garlo Pies sales manager Jackson Garlick added:

“Meat pies are a quintessential Aussie staple and setting the highest pie in the southern sky is not only be bragging rights for us but also an accomplishment for Australia.”