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World View Enterprises said its “Zinger 1” mission to keep a KFC chicken sandwich aloft in the stratosphere was terminated earlier than planned, due to a small leak in an altitude-control balloon system on its Stratollite platform. The company’s CEO, Jane Poynter, said today in a statement that the payload was brought down about 17 hours after the balloon launch on Thursday in Arizona. “Within the first few hours of flight, all system test objectives were met,” she said. Poynter added that the chicken sandwich “performed flawlessly.” World View is developing the Stratollite balloon platform as a low-cost alternative to satellites, and eventually plans to send tourists up for hours-long excursions. So tell Colonel Sanders to keep that Kentucky-colonel spacesuit handy.

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