Here's hoping the British space budget stretches to financing proper fruit cakes with lots of alcohol in them rather than mean sponge cakes in rusty tins.
Otherwise the cake baked to celebrate the launch of the Infrared Space Observatory will be moulding by now. The launch, on November 3, was cancelled just hours beforehand because of a faulty on-board computer. The cake, sitting in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, was repacked and the refreshments were put away. But they were to be back on the table last night, in anticipation of the postponed launch, due for 1.20am this morning. RAL says the cake has been "maturing" and the "refreshments are being refreshed". Let's hope the party goes with a bang.