An espresso coffee bar firm sent one of its cups into outer space as a quirky way of celebrating its 10th year in business.
Little Italy, which has bars in Haddenham as well as Bicester, Wendover and Haddenham & Thame Parkway railway stations, was first set up by owner Simon Keeley and his wife Cathrine in late 2004.
Now they employ 28 staff and Mr Keeley said he wanted to mark the last decade with ‘something more exciting than a ribbon cutting’.
The 50-year-old said: “We wanted to do something spectacular, and space has become quite in vogue again thanks to people like Brian Cox.
“So, I called the Civil Aviation Authority and told them what I had in mind. I think they thought it was a crank caller at first!
“My poor long-suffering wife was doing all the accounts and balancing the books while I was messing about with a hack saw and lots of gaffa tape.
“It was like some ludicrous Wallace and Gromit type project, but we pulled it off. I think it’s mindblowing.
With the help of baristas Tyler Cartwright and Ian Bone, and technical support from Ivan Pope and Andrew Pentecost, the cup was attached to a weather balloon, with the Go Pro camera protected in insulation blocks lined with handwarmers to stop it freezing in the -60 degree temperatures.
The balloon reached 105,000ft high and expanded to 30ft in diameter before bursting, freefalling back to Earth at 150mph before its parachute deployed and landing on a golf course in Surrey.