Feeds

Top secret payload fired into orbit aboard private rocket

Reclusive millionaire's mystery package revealed

Security for virtualized datacentres

All the world that cares about such things already knows that famous hecamillionaire Elon Musk this week achieved the remarkable: his privately designed and built space rocket, the Falcon 9, carried an equally personal spacecraft, the Dragon capsule, into orbit - and the Dragon then successfully returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific.

The cheese sent into space on the inaugural Dragon flight. Credit: SpaceX/Chris Thompson

Space cheese

What nobody knew until after the mission was what the payload carried by the Dragon on its inaugural flight could be. Previous test shots of earlier rockets by Musk's company SpaceX have merely carried test weights: but in this case it was known that the company had installed a large case marked Top Secret! inside the Dragon.

After the launch, Musk revealed that in fact the sealed case had contained a large cheese, in homage to the classic Monty Python sketch in the cheese shop. The Top Secret! tag was meant to refer more to the comical Val Kilmer film than any sinister-millionaire plans by Musk to deploy a deadly orbital raygun, spacegoing habitat lair etc.

Cheese fans will wish to know that the orbiting dairy product was a wheel of Le Brouère from France.

The Dragon is intended to deliver cargos to the International Space Station, and perhaps crew in future, under contract to NASA. Musk's aim in setting up SpaceX is to make access to space much cheaper than it has been. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.