Scientists may have long ago proven that moon isn’t made of cheese, but thanks to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, cheese will soon be on the moon. On February 22, the city leader announced the launch of Kerbey Lane Cafe’s famous queso into space.
According to a release, the celestial offering is part of an initiative from Israeli space exploration organization SpaceIL. Working with nonprofit Arch Mission Foundation, the group is carrying the Lunar Library, a physical archive made of millions of documents, to its new moon home as a back-up of human knowledge.
Much of the materials engraved on the radiation proof disk — such as a complete copy of the English language Wikipedia, copies of 25,000 books, and a linguistic key to 5,000 languages — are educational. Arch Mission also invited celebrities, influencers, and dignitaries to add more whimsical additions to the galactic time capsule.
Since actual queso might interfere with what is undoubtedly a very expensive disk, the never-before published recipe was sent in its place. Extraterrestrials stumbling on the secret formula will be on their own in figuring out just where to source the ingredients (surely by then Amazon will have a space HQ) or what exactly to eat with the queso.
“We choose to send queso to the Moon — and maybe someday chips as well, not because these things are easy, but because they are hard,” said Adler via release. “The challenge to eat queso in zero gravity is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, among other key challenges, like next time remembering the chips.”
Along for the ride is an economic incentive package and a photo of Austin’s patron saint: former mayoral candidate Albert “Leslie” Cochran. “I’m not going to say exactly what the picture shows, but Leslie mooned Austin enough times. It was about time Austin mooned the moon,” quipped Adler.
The Mayor’s contribution wasn’t all for levity, however. He also included a heartfelt letter that spoke to a desire that many global problems, including climate change and inequality, will have been solved by the time the disc is discovered.
Like any good politician, Adler also highlighted the city’s accomplishments. “Austin today is working to make this a better universe by tackling homelessness and inequity, and through our support for the environment, restorative justice in our community, and the lasting beauty of our arts,” he wrote.
After launching on February 21, the lander carrying the archive will begin circling the moon in approximately 40 days. The first opportunity for a landing will be April 11.