After much anticipation, turmoil and disappointment, the Advertiser’s favourite chicken has finally made its stratospheric journey into space. Jess Layt reports.
The infamous fake chicken soared more than 20,000 feet higher than expected and became the highest thing off Earth at 109,000 feet, or 33.33 kilometres straight up when it launched from Rankin Springs on Monday morning.
Apollo Loco, the Clinton’s Toyota Narellan space chicken, at long last reached the heights we’ve all been waiting for on its three-hour journey there and back again.
It has been a long and storied journey for Apollo Loco, named by a class at local special needs school Mater Dei Camden, who has had his skyward endeavour postponed twice by poor weather.
An initiative of Clinton’s salesman Jason Dries and colleague Billy Elabed, who originally concocted the idea, the space chicken launch has been in the works for several weeks.
Robert Brand was the engineer behind the launch, ensuring the small-car-sized helium balloon affixed to Apollo Loco would carry him all the way up and survive the minus 54 degrees Celsius temperatures at its coldest point, and was present for the launch along with Clintons road crew Mr Dries and Nick Thaiposri.
Apollo Loco landed safely on a wheat field on reentry, and the Clintons team were able to easily find him with GPS trackers.
Clintons have become the first car dealership in the world to attempt such a feat, and Mr Dries is thrilled the launch finally came to fruition.
‘‘Overall it was a great success,’’ he said.
‘‘I want to thank the Kordovolos family for making it all happen.’’
Apollo Loco can be viewed in the showroom at Clintons Toyota Narellan for anyone interesting in catching a glimpse of the very first faux chicken in space.
Footage of the launch and journey (captured by the three GoPro cameras attached to Apollo Loco) will be available on YouTube.