Pastry enthusiasts launch a Meat Pie into space to mark the beginning of the World Eating Championships.

The historic event took place in Wigan saw the organizers attached a meat and potato pie to a weather balloon in the hope it reaches an altitude of 100,000ft.

The pastry-based snack had a camera and tracking equipment attached to it, to allow the space enthusiasts to track its journey.

The stunt is part of a tongue-in-cheek experiment to determine whether change to a pie's molecular structure would make one easier to eat quickly.

Prior to the launch Bar owner Tony Callaghan said: 'We are doing this because we are continually questing to go where mankind has never gone before - sub-16 seconds consumption of a regulation pie.

'We are aware that scientists have been experimenting with plants on the International Space Station to see if their molecular structure changes, so we are experimenting with pies to see if the structure changes with space travel and allows the pie to be eaten quicker.'

“I can’t wait to retrieve the pie and pictures and see what went on up there. I wonder if it will encounter aliens?” Callaghan told Daily Mail.

After reaching a height of 29 miles — 150,000 feet — the pie landed three hours later among sheep in Bentham, North Yorkshire.

“We think one of the sheep managed to have a nibble on the pie before we got there,” a mission spokesman said. “We put some toothpicks in it to help keep it together, and unfortunately the crust got blasted off on its way back down, so it doesn’t look very appetizing right now.”

“The pie was essentially heated, frozen up in space then warmed up again, so the flavor is probably richer,” the official said.