Wigan's pie lovers have launched a meat and potato pastry into space in the lead up to the World Pie Eating Championships on 20 December.

The pie was attached to a helium-filled weather balloon. Lift off took place from the Fifteens at the Fox pub in Robby Mill, Wigan, at around 11:30am GMT on Thursday (15 December). Aiming to reach 100,000ft, there was a serious lining to the flaky fun. The idea was to determine whether changes to a pie's molecular structure would make it quicker to consume.

Organisers said the savoury treat made a meat-eoric rise, reaching a height of 29 miles, according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN). It stayed afloat for two hours before descending back to Earth.

The brains behind the project were able to go ahead with their efforts after receiving the green light from the Civil Aviation Authority.

The pies for both the out of this world trip and next week's championships were created by chefs at Ultimate Purveyors located in St Helens, Merseyside.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Bill Kenyon, of Ultimate Purveyors said: "Neither the sky, nor the pie, should be the limit. This pie will be tested to the extreme.

"It's structural integrity will be tested against the potential rigours of being served by a grumpy pie lady from Wigan. It will freeze on its ascent to around 100,000 feet and it will be cooked as it reaches massive speeds on re-entry. And once again it will be tested upon landing, a simulation of it being transported for delivery in a pie van that hits a pothole in Hindley."

Next week's bid for pie glory will take place at Harry's Bar in Wigan. Owner Tony Callaghan said: "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.

He added: "Interestingly, Nasa didn't want to know about this, so we got a couple of lads from Sheffield to sort it instead."