SpaceX Carried Secret Cheese Into Orbit

The California company called SpaceX this week became the first private business to launch a spacecraft into orbit and safely guide it back to earth. There were no humans onboard but there was a secret payload: a wheel of cheese. It was a tribute to a sketch by the British comedy group Monty Python.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And todays last word in business is cosmic humor.

A California company called Space Exploration Technologies, this week, became the first private business to launch a spacecraft into orbit and safely guide it back to earth. There were no humans onboard, but there was a secret payload. Now we know what it was. Yesterday, Space Exploration Technologies revealed that it was a wheel of cheese. This was a tribute to a sketch by the British comedy group Monty Python.

(Soundbite of, The Cheese Shop by Monty Python)

Mr. JOHN CLEESE (Actor, comedian, writer, film producer): (as Mousebender) MOUSEBENDER: Parmesan.

Mr. MICHAEL PALIN (Comedian, actor, writer, television presenter): (as Wensleydale): No.

Mr. CLEESE: (as Mousebender) Mozzarella.

Mr. PALIN: (as Wensleydale) No.

Mr. CLEESE: (as Mousebender) Paper Cramer.

Mr. PALIN: (as Wensleydale) No.

Mr. CLEESE: (as Mousebender) Any Danish Bimbo.

Mr. PALIN: (as Wensleydale) No.

Mr. CLEESE: (as Mousebender) Czechoslovakian sheeps milk cheese, sir.

Mr. PALIN: (as Wensleydale) No.

Mr. CLEESE: (as Mousebender) Venezuelan beaver cheese?

Mr. PALIN: (as Wensleydale) Not today, sir, no.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: The cheese on board the spacecraft was a wheel of French Le Brouere.

Now that the spacecraft has returned to earth, the cheese is on a barge being towed back to California.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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