Coffee beans taken to the edge of space in a research balloon by JP Aerospace, and sold on E-Bay to help fund their "PongSat" program. From their website
"JP Aerospace is a volunteer-based organization achieving cheap access to space by just doing it. We are an independent space program."
From their press release:
On June 2, a small bag of specialty coffee beans played the part of test pilot.
The “Bean Me Up” bag of roast flew to 92,000 feet onboard a high altitude research balloon.
The balloon was flown by JP Aerospace, an independent space program. In addition to the coffee, over 300 student experiments were carried aloft. Lifting off shortly after dawn, the balloon climbed 800 feet per minute. As it headed upward, the temperature dropped to 82 degrees below zero, and the sky slowly turned black. When it reached high enough where the Earth’s horizon is curved, the balloon burst. The coffee and experiments fell together at over Mach one back toward the desert floor. The parachute opened, and the package touched down ten miles from its starting point.
“This coffee has gone where I want to go,” says John Powell, President of JP Aerospace.
The high-flying coffee is now being auctioned off on eBay to raise money to support the PongSat program.
JP Aerospace has flown advertisements, toy action figures, and mementos to the edge of space to help fund their PongSat space education program.
A PongSat is an experiment that fits inside of a ping pong ball. Students as young as eight are running their own space programs. Experiments range from plant seeds to computers with sophisticated sensors. PongSat are flown at no charge to the students. Thousands of students have been to the edge of space with their PongSats.
Away 33 mission was the ninety-first mission flown by JP Aerospace. JP Aerospace is staffed by volunteers dedicated to bringing space travel to everyone.
A special thanks goes out to Vista Clara Coffee for providing the “Bean Me Up” beans for the flight.