"Do you have any cheese at all?"

SpaceX CEO and PayPal founder Elon Musk doesn't have to worry about angering John Cleese with his answer.

Musk revealed the top secret payload aboard the Dragon capsule for its first trip to space 8 December to be a wheel of cheese - Le Brouere cheese, to be precise, a French cow's milk cheese rather like Gruyere.

SpaceX payload 1 

 © SpaceX


SpaceX payload 2 

 © SpaceX

Musk said at the post-splashdown the "Top Secret!" payload, the container itself a reference to the 1984 Val Kilmer Cold War comedy, would be a bit of a laugh for Monty Python fans - the space cheese is an homage to the comedy troupe's Cheese Shop sketch.

The launch marked the first time a commercial company has developed, launched into orbit and retrieved its own space capsule after re-entry. In the history of spaceflight, only five countries and one multi-government agency have launched an orbiter that also survived reentry: the European Space Agency, China, India, Japan, Russia/the Soviet Union and the US. Records for cheese in space, however, have not been as diligently kept.

Source: Flight International