It was “one small step for man” in 1969, in 2017 it was a giant leap for a Kirkcaldy company and Scotland’s whisky as a real space oddity took off.
Thanks to packaging firm Kwicpac, a bottle of whisky has boldly gone where not many whiskies have gone before – into space – and come back to earth with not a drop spilt.
A miniature of the company’s own Taurex Tonic whisky was “blasted” into space last week, reaching a height of more than 20 miles.
And as well as going 20 miles up through the atmosphere, the wandering uisge beatha also travelled around 40 miles in the 140 minute trip.
The carefully packaged bottle was hoisted to 34,915 metres from the launch pad near Sheffied, by a weather balloon which then burst, allowing the precious cargo to drop back to earth, touching down close to Scunthorpe.
Mark Scoular, Kwicpac marketing executive, is the man who led the company to reach for the stars and he is delighted at the company’s success in sending one of the first ever bottles of whisky into space.
“We’re all in high spirits,” he joked.
But Mark unashamedly admits that the whole thing was one big publicity stunt.
“We did it for publicity, to get more brand awareness,” he told the Press, “this is a small family business and we’ve not had much social media impact.
“We thought this would capture people’s imagination.”
The adventure also demonstrated Kwicpac’s range of packaging products, with the precious cargo wrapped in eight layers of protective packaging, enclosed in a perspex tube and enveloped in a bespoke built foam rocket, designed by Mark himself, using the company’s own foam.
“We have been planning this for some time,” Mark continued, “working out how we would package the whisky using our own recyclable materials.”
The planning also involved navigating the strict rules that surround such endeavours with a plethora of paperwork to be completed before launch day.
The use of recyclable materials was important to Mark, who didn’t want to contribute to any more space debris.
Now film of the whisky’s journey into space is proving a hit on-line.
And surfers don’t have to watch for more than two hours, for the journey has been compressed into just two minutes and 20 seconds.
Within days of the film going live on-line Mark had received bids for the whisky miniature.
Now he plans to use it to raise money for charity, and Taurex Tonic space spirit will appear on a well known internet auction site within a few days.
Based at Randolph Industrial Eastate Kwicpac was established in 1993 and now employes 20 people.
It produces a range of protective packaging, fixings, strappings and machinery.
Kwicpac also develops bespoke packing solutions for clients.