February 2002, Beefjerky.com sent an email to Mark Shuttleworth
inviting him to sample Final Frontier Jerky for his consideration
to carry it on his historic spaceflight to the International
Space Station. Mark is the second private astronaut ever
to fly to Space.
a friendly reply, Mark agreed to sample Beefjerky.com's
flagship product and graciously provided his shipping
address at the Yuri Gagarin Spaceflight Training Center
in Star City, Russia.
March 2002, almost two pounds of Final Frontier Jerky
was packaged up and sent via FedEx to Star City. The package
made its way through Russian Customs without incident
and was received by Mark in good condition.
taste-tested the black pepper flavor beef jerky and responded
via email, "This is the best beef jerkey I ever ate.
I'm partial to South African biltong, but your beef jerky
is really very good." He did not have time to try
and have the beef jerky officially manifested for his
flight, so he volunteered to attempt to "smuggle"
a small amount aboard his Soyuz spacecraft in the pocket
of his spacesuit.
happily replied to Mark with an offer to provide another
supply of fresh Final Frontier Jerky closer to his launch
date, 25 April, 2002. Mark replied that he would leave
Star City on the 18th of April and head for Russia's Baikonur
Cosmodrome launch facility in Kazakhstan, so he would
need to receive the fresh samples before the 18th.
April 8th, 2002, another two pounds of Beefjerky.com's
finest was boxed up and sent via FedEx to Star City. Customs
once again allowed its entry into Russia and it was safely
received by Mark on April 16th.
Here is what Mark had to say about Final Frontier Jerky
and his Soyuz space flight:
Soyuz crew members are allowed 1.5kg of personal items
under normal circumstances, and they also tend to
carry a few more items up inside their space suits.
We wouldn't really be able to eat anything until we
were up there, so I asked the ground crew to pack
the beef jerky in with the other declared items. It
would have been nice to have something to snack on
while we were waiting - in some suspense - on the
After boarding the Soyuz there are long periods with
nothing to do while the rocket undergoes final checks
and the countdown proceeds. Launch and the ride to
orbit are just incredible, but once we were up there
we were all hungry and the beef jerky made a very
I kept some for the days we spent on the station -
it was a hit with the crew. One of the other crew
members remembered it from a previous shuttle flight
too. It's great on the ground, but I think it tastes
best in space!