Eggs in space... Team of radio hams scramble to be first to achieve egg-straterrestrial space mission

Andrew Garratt with the 'Eggsplorer-1'. EMN-150617-175156001
Andrew Garratt with the 'Eggsplorer-1'. EMN-150617-175156001

We are used to eggs flying through the air at the World Egg Throwing Championships but this year the organisers are aiming to go one better by launching an egg into space.

We are used to eggs flying through the air at the World Egg Throwing Championships but this year the organisers are aiming to go one better by launching an egg into space.

For the 10th year running, the championships will be the centrepiece attraction of the annual Swaton Vintage Day, which takes place at Thorpe Latimer on Sunday, June 28.

But, in addition to the normal egg throwing events, this year championship organisers are planning to join the space race.

They have called on the expertise of South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society (SKARS) to try to project an egg, if not into space itself, at least into the Earth’s stratosphere.

The idea for the ambitious project came from SKARS chairman Andrew Garratt who, while planning for the society’s special event station at the Vintage Day, jokingly suggested putting an egg into space on board a balloon. Now the yoke is on him as it has become a serious project - the idea coming from Dave Akerman’s Spudnik flight for Heston Blumenthal’s Channel 4 television programme.

Subject to Civil Aviation Authority clearance and weather conditions, Andrew will be aiming to launch a high altitude balloon carrying one egg into the edge of space and then dropping it back to earth under a parachute.

In addition to the plucky eggstronaut, the balloon (called Eggsplorer-1) will carry a radio transmitter to broadcast its position, altitude and live images of the journey back to earth.

On-board cameras will record the journey to be recovered on a successful return to Earth. Radio enthusiasts all around the country will be able to assist, receiving the data and pictures and monitoring the progress of the flight via the UK High Altitude Society tracking website.

Andy Dunlop, president of the World Egg Throwing Federation, jokingly commented: “Not only will this place the UK back at the forefront of space exploration but it will set a new record for the highest ever macrolecitha transport.”

The egg throwing championships are sponsored by Sleaford electrical firm Ray Butler and are expected to attract entries from all over the world.

In addition to the main championship, which is open to teams of two, there will also be a junior competition, Russian egg roulette, egg throwing static relay and world egg trebuchet challenge.

Last year’s Swaton Vintage Day raised over £7,500 for a variety of charities.