Lithuania Starts its Space Program

Share Article

Having signed a cooperation agreement with the European Space Agency last year, Lithuania is targeting the food transportation market for astronauts. This Wednesday, a pilot pizza delivery will be launched from Lithuania. A video camera will be recording this flight. Pizza will be prepared by the chefs of the famous Baltic pizza chain “Cili”.

Earth view from 30 km

“Everything is not that simple as it at first seems. As the temperature drops to minus 76˚F already in an altitude of 10 kilometres, all equipment must be well insulated, and the batteries must be chosen accordingly,” said flight manager.

Pizza chain “Cili” has decided to celebrate its 15 years anniversary in an unusual way.

Pizza will be lifted with a meteorological balloon. Considering the maximum cold and wind, the pizza has to be well attached to stay stable. The latex balloon will lift the pizza to a height of over 30 km. It is approximately 60˚C (76˚F) below zero up there.

It was decided to lift a smallest 20 cm diameter pizza, so that it does not fall apart in the atmosphere. The pizza will be lifted together with other equipment such as cameras, power supply and a safe parachute for safe landing. The weight must not exceed 2 kilograms. Only this weight can be lifted to the desired height by the meteorological balloon, used for the flight.

The pizza’s journey to the sky will begin in the geographical centre of Lithuania. During the launch, the diameter of the helium-filled balloon will reach approximately 2 meters. Higher up the pressure increases, so after reaching an altitude of 30 km, the balloon will burst.

The balloon should explode after 2 hours, at the elevation three times higher than planes fly. Along with pizza, many metal equipment will be lifted as well, so this "flyer" will be visible by planes on their radars in that area of space. Nevertheless, to ensure maximum security, this spaceflight is approved by the local air traffic control centre.

It will take only half an hour for the frozen pizza to land. A preliminary landing location will be known, but it may change according to wind conditions. After the successful space trip, the pizza will be found by special GPS tracking equipment that travels with the food.

20-year-old Lithuanian Ernestas Kalabuckas, an enthusiast of electronics, astronomy and aviation will help lifting the pizza into the skies.

“Everything is not that simple as it at first seems. The tracking system must function real well – a little installation error and the equipment is lost. As the temperature drops to minus 60° (-76˚F) already in an altitude of 10 kilometres, all equipment must be well insulated, and the batteries must be chosen accordingly”, said flight manager E. Kalabuckas.

Cameras installed to the pizza container will record its' historical flight.

Lithuanians themselves will decide what type of pizza will be lifted into the skies. One can vote for the tastiest pizza on Facebook, and choose one of the 15 delicious pizzas that everyone knows.

The holding company of “Cili” manages the largest restaurant network in Baltic states with 84 restaurants in Lithuania and Latvia.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lina Mockutė

+370 616 84910
Email >