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The First Soyuz Flight

In February 2002, 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.

In a friendly reply, Mark agreed to sample's flagship product and graciously provided his shipping address at the Yuri Gagarin Spaceflight Training Center in Star City, Russia.

In 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.

Mark's big smile and thumbs up, says it all!  World Famous Final Frontier Jerky from

Mark 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.

On April 8th, 2002, another two pounds of'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 launch pad.

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 welcome treat.

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!


Why wait for a rocket ride?
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