The Planet

The First Doughnut in Space is a Beautiful Thing

by Jed Oelbaum

April 24, 2015
Screenshot from YouTube user Stratolys

The first doughnut in space, a classic pink-sprinkled Homer Simpson special, soared majestically above this swiftly tilting blue orb we call Earth; lonely, silent, and brave, the pioneering pastry danced in the aether before crashing down to the terrestrial waters from which all life, and by extension all baked goods, spring. Like Icarus, the brash snack food reached its glory in defiance of the laws of god and man—doughnuts were never meant to fly, or so we are all told. But this particular doughnut had a destiny to fulfill, and aided by its one little friend, a GoPro camera, and a pair of helpful Swedish brothers, it ascended into both our hearts and the annals of history.

It all began earlier this month, when Alexander and Benjamin Jönsson attached the fateful doughnut and a camera to a weather balloon. The two had crossed over the border from their native Sweden to Norway, where attitudes are more liberal about space snacks, and they would not need a permit for the launch. The duo set up in a soccer field, surrounded by friends, well-wishers, and what appears to be a crowd of cheering children. They stood in wonder, marveling at the package lifting off and spinning its way toward the heavens, as the GoPro recorded a doughnut’s-eye-view of the shrinking world beneath it.

“I'm really into space and photography and I used to play around with weather balloons back in school,” Alexander told The Local, a Swedish news site.  “Then we had the idea that we should send something really crazy up into space and thought 'hey, nobody has ever sent a donut up before.”

Finally, after completing it’s cosmic tour, the doughnut landed in Lake Vättern, Sweden, where it was recovered with the help of the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. The pastry was waterlogged, smelly, and a bit shaken up, but it was returned to the brothers safely, who then ate it. The pair proclaimed it “out of this world,” and “the best-tasting doughnut ever.”

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The First Doughnut in Space is a Beautiful Thing