To celebrate the Ford Mustang's 50th anniversary, a team of dedicated employees have sent the iconic muscle car 110,000 feet into the atmosphere. That's right, Ford has just sent a Mustang INTO OUTER SPACE.
Taking inspiration from fellow adrenalin-enthusiast Felix Baumgartner and his Sunday afternoon skydive, Ford began working on ways to send its iconic pony car to meet the universe.
Clearly, strapping a full-size Mustang to a rocket and lighting it up wasn't really an option for the Ford team - comprising of San Francisco sales manager Michael Sego and Steve Kubitz, managing partner of Big Valley Ford in Stockton, California - so they took a leaf from Baumgartner's book, using a custom, high-altitude weather balloon capable of ascending to the outer reaches of earth.
To this weather balloon the team added a rod to the instrumentation box suspended below it, and mounted a Revell Mustang model kit to it. Yeah, OK, it's a model, not a full-size car. Sorry.
Some cameras were screwed in to record the event/possible explosion/meeting with Martians, and then they let the mini-Stang free.
It took 74 minutes for the balloon to reach its maximum height of 110,000 feet (nearly 21 miles), at which point the car began it descent back down to earth - including a flat-spin much like Baumgartner terrifyingly experienced on his dive - before a parachute was deployed.
Thanks to a GPS tracker, the team were able to locate the remains of the car some six hours after launch, where it had landed in a field.
"More than nine million Mustangs have been built in the past 50 years," Sego said. "We're excited to have been able to take our favourite car to new heights by launching it into space."
First it was the top of the Empire State Building, and now outer space: what next for the new 2015 Ford Mustang? We've got one suggestion, Ford: GET YOUR ASS TO MARS.